Category Archives: Inspiration

100 Quotes from The Secret

1. If you can think about what you want in your mind, and make that your dominant thought, youwill bring it into your life.

2. Through this most powerful law, your thoughts become things in your life.

3. As you think of yourself living in abundance, you are powerfully and consciously determining your life through the law of attraction.

4. The only reason why people do not have what they want is because they are thinking more about what they don’t want than what they do want.

5. The law of attraction is the law of creation. Quantum physicists tell us that the entire Universe emerged from thought!

6. What you are thinking now is creating your future life.

7. Your thoughts are seeds, and the harvest you reap will depend on the seeds you plant.

8. Whether you have been aware of your thoughts in the past or not, now you are becoming aware. Right now, with the knowledge of The Secret, you are waking up from a deep sleep and becoming aware!

9. Decide what you want to be, do, and have, think the thoughts of it, emit the frequency, and your vision will become your life.

10. The law of attraction is a law of nature. It is as impartial and impersonal as the law of gravity is.

11. Your feelings are your greatest tools to help you create your life.

12. Your thoughts determine your frequency, and your feelings tell you immediately what frequency you are on.

13. You can purposefully use your feelings to transmit an even more powerful frequency, by adding feeling to what you are wanting.

14. There is no greater power in the Universe than the power of love.

15. The feeling of love is the highest frequency you can emit.

16. There is a truth deep down inside of you that has been waiting for you to discover it, and that Truth is this: you deserve all good things life has to offer.

17. You get to choose what you want, but you must get clear about what you want.

18. Asking is the first step in the Creative Process, so make it a habit to ask.

19. You must believe that you have received. You must know that what you want is yours the moment you ask.

20. In the moment you ask, and believe and know you already have it in the unseen, the entire Universe shifts to bring it into the seen.

21. Claim the things you want by feeling and believing they are yours.

22. How it will happen, how the Universe will bring it to you, is not your concern or job. Allow the Universe to do it for you.

23. Ask once, believe you have received, and all you have to do to receive is feel good.

24. If you have an intuitive or instinctive feeling, follow it, and you will find that the Universe is magnetically moving you to receive what you asked for.

25. Remember that you are a magnet, attracting everything to you.

26. It is as easy to manifest one dollar as it is to manifest one million dollars.

27. Create your day in advance by thinking the way you want it to go, and you will create your life intentionally.

28. It is impossible to bring more into your life if you are feeling ungrateful about what you have.

29. When you give thanks as though you have already received what you want, you are emitting a powerful signal to the Universe.

30. The reason visualization is so powerful is because as you create pictures in your mind of seeing yourself with what it is you want, you are generating thoughts and feelings of having it now.

31. Everyone has the power to visualize.

32. To use the law of attraction to your advantage, make it a habitual way of being, not just a one-time event.

33. To attract money, you must focus on wealth.

34. The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts.

35. When you need money, it is a powerful feeling within you, and so of course through the law of attraction you will continue to attract needing money.

36. The shortcut to anything you want in your life is to BE and FEEL happy now!

37. Your wealth is waiting for you in the invisible, and to bring it into the visible, think wealth!

38. “I am a money magnet.”

39. “I love money and money loves me.”

40. Giving is a powerful action to bring more money into your life, because when you are giving you are saying, “I have plenty.”

41. Prosperity is your birthright, and you hold the key to more abundance – in every area of your life – than you can possibly imagine.

42. The key is your thoughts and feelings, and you have been holding the key in your hand all of your life.

43. When you do not treat yourself the way you want others to treat you, you can never change the way things are.

44. When you make feeling good a priority, that magnificent frequency will radiate and touch everyone close to you.

45. People are responsible for their own joy.

46. Focus only on things you love, feel love, and you will experience that love and joy coming back to you – multiplied!

47. Treat yourself with love and respect, and you will attract people who show you love and respect.

48. To make a relationship work, focus on what you appreciate about the other person, and not your complaints.

49. Healing through the mind can work harmoniously with medicine.

50. All stress begins with one negative thought.

51. Love and gratitude can part seas, move mountains, and create miracles.

52. Illness cannot exist in a body that has harmonious thoughts.

53. Start thinking happy thoughts and start being happy.

54. Just the simple process of letting go of negative thoughts will allow your natural state of health to emerge within you.

55. Laughter attracts joy, releases negativity, and leads to miraculous cures.

56. You have the ability to give so much to the world by emitting feelings of love and well-being, despite what is happening around you.

57. When you feel good you uplift your life, and you uplift the world.

58. You are the master of your life, and the Universe is answering your every command.

59. Your ability to think is unlimited, and so the things you can think into existence are unlimited.

60. When we open our minds to the unlimited creative power, we will call forth abundance and see and experience a whole new world.

61. There are no limits to what you can create for You, because your ability to think is unlimited!

62. The Universe offers all things to all people through the law of attraction.

63. You have the ability to choose what you want to experience.

64. When you are praising or blessing you are on the highest frequency of love.

65. Instead of focusing on the world’s problems, give your attention and energy to trust, love, abundance, education, and peace.

66. The law of attraction says like attracts like.

67. You are energy, and energy cannot be created or destroyed. Energy just changes form.

68. As you ask and feel and believe, you will receive.

69. When you emit the perfect frequency of what you want, the perfect people, circumstances, and events will be attracted to you and delivered!

70. When you say “I am,” the words that follow are summoning creation with a mighty force, because you are declaring it to be fact.

71. When you conceive something in your mind, know it is a fact, and that there can be no question about its manifestation.

72. You are a genius beyond description, so start telling yourself that and become aware of who you really are.

73. All your power is in your awareness of that power, and through holding that power in your consciousness.

74. The real secret of power is the consciousness of power.

75. Be aware of everything around you, because you are receiving the answers to your questions in every moment of the day.

76. To not love ourselves can keep what we want from us.

77. To attract the things we love we must transmit love, and those things will appear immediately.

78. We are all connected, and we are all One.

79. The Secret is within you.

80. The more you use the power within you, the more you will draw it to you.

81. The time to embrace your magnificence is now.

82. See yourself living in abundance and you will attract it.

83. The law of attraction is always working, whether you believe it or understand it or not.

84. Your thoughts become things.

85. The emotions are an incredible gift that we have to let us know what we’re thinking.

86. Our feelings are a feedback mechanism to us about whether we’re on track or not, whether we’re on course or off course.

87. Life can be absolutely phenomenal, and it should be, and it will be, when you start using The Secret.

88. You will attract everything that you require.

89. You can start with nothing, and out of nothing and out of no way, a way will be made.

90. Asking the universe what you want is your opportunity to get clear about what you want.

91. Receiving involves feeling the way you feel once your desire has manifested.

92. When you want to change your circumstances, you must first change your thinking.

93. Gratitude is absolutely the way to bring more into your life.

94. The daily practice of gratitude is one of the conduits by which your wealth will come to you.

95. When you visualize then you materialize.

96. Expectation is a powerful attractive force.

97. Success comes from within, not from without.

98. Your joy lies within you.

99. The Universe is a masterpiece of abundance.

100. You can change your life and you can heal yourself.

Blessed are the Peacemakers commentary by Paramhansa Yogananda

Blessed are the peacemakers : for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

They are the real peacemakers who generate peace from their devotional practice of daily meditation. Peace is the first manifestation of God’s response in meditation. Those who know God as Peace in the inner temple of silence, and who worship that Peace-God therein, are by this relationship of divine communion His true children.

Having felt the nature of God as inner peace, devotees want the Peace-God to be always manifest in their home, in the neighborhood, in the nation, among all nationalities and races. Anyone who brings peace to an inharmonious family has established God there. Anyone who removes the misunderstanding between souls has united them in God’s peace. Anyone who, forsaking national greed and selfishness, works to create peace amidst warring nations, is establishing God in the heart of those nations. The initiators and facilitators of peace manifest the unifying Christ-love that identifies a soul as a child of God.

“Son of God” consciousness makes one feel love for all beings. Those who are God’s true children cannot feel any difference between an Indian, American, or any other nationality or race. For a little while immortal souls are garbed in white, black, brown, red, or olive-colored bodies. Are people looked upon as variously foreign when they wear different colored clothes? No matter what one’s nationality or the color of his body, all of God’s children are souls. The Father recognizes no man-made designation; He loves all, and His children must learn to live in that same consciousness. When man confines his identity to his clannish human nature, it gives rise to unending evils and the specter of war.

Human beings have been given potentially limitless power, to prove that they are indeed the children of God. In such technologies as the atomic bomb we see that unless man uses his powers rightly, he will destroy himself. The Lord could incinerate this earth in a second if He lost patience with His erring children, be He doesn’t. And as He would never misuse His omnipotence, so we, being made in His image, must also behave like gods and conquer hearts with the power of love, or humanity as we know it will surely perish. Man’s power to make war is increasing; so must his ability to make peace. The best deterrent against the threat of war is brotherhood, the realization that as God’s children we are one family.

Anyone who stirs up strife among brother nations under the guise of patriotism is a traitor to his divine family – a faithless child of God. Anyone who keeps family members, neighbor, or friends fighting through fostering falsehoods and gossip, or who is in any way a maker of disturbance, is a desecrator of God’s temple of harmony.

Christ and the great ones have given the recipe for peace within and among individuals and nations. How long man has lived in the darkness of misunderstanding and ignorance of those ideals. The true Christ-method of living can banish human conflicts and the horror of war and bring about peace and understanding on earth; all prejudices and enmities must fall away. That is the challenge placed before those who would be the peacemakers of God.

-The Second Coming of Christ by Paramhansa Yogananda

(Read the entire chapter for the complete commentary of the entire Beatitudes of Christ)

50 Notable Quotes from Wallace D. Wattles (from The Science of Getting Rich)

1. Whatever may be said in praise of poverty, the fact remains that it is not possible to live a really complete or successful life unless one is rich.

2. The purpose of Nature is the advancement and unfoldment of life.

3. Success in life is becoming what you want to be.

4. Wherever there is unexpressed possibility, or function not performed, there is unsatisfied desire.

5. Desire is possibility seeking expression, or function seeking performance.

6. No man is kept poor because opportunity has been taken away from him.

7. Nature is an inexhaustible storehouse of riches; the supply will never run short.

8. Nature is formed for the advancement of life; its impelling motive is the increase of life.

9. Thought is the only power which can produce tangible riches . . .

10. A man’s way of doing things is the direct result of the way he thinks about things.

11. To think according to appearance is easy; to think truth regardless of appearances is laborious, and requires the expenditure of more power than any other work man is called upon to perform.

12. There is no labor from which most people shrink as they do from that of sustained and consecutive thought; it is the hardest work in the world.

13. By thought, the thing you want is brought to you. By action, you receive it.

14. The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best. Therefore it tends to become the best. It takes the form or character of the best, and will receive the best.

15. Many people who order their lives rightly, in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude.

16. There is no labor from which most people shrink as they do from that of sustained and consecutive thought; it is the hardest work in the world.

17. Desire is the effort of the unexpressed possibility within, seeking expression without through your actions.

18. The desire for riches is simply the capacity for larger life seeking fulfillment; every desire is the effort of an unexpressed possibility to come into action.

19. It is the desire of God that you should get rich.

20. The universe desires you to have everything you want to have.

21. God wants that you should make the most of yourself, for yourself, and for others; and you can help others more by making the most of yourself than in any other way.

22. You must get rid of the thought of competition. You are to create, not to compete for what is already created.

23. You must never think for a moment that the supply is limited.

24. The desire you feel for riches is the Infinite seeking to express Himself in you.

25. The whole process of mental adjustment and atonement can be summed up in one word, gratitude.

26. Many people who order their lives rightly in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude.

27. It is easy to understand that the nearer we live to the source of wealth, the more wealth we shall receive.

28. The more gratefully we fix our minds on the Supreme when good things come to us, the more good things we will receive.

29. Gratitude will lead your mind out along the ways by which things come.

30. There is a Law of Gratitude, and it is absolutely necessary that you should observe the law, if you are to get the results you seek.

31. Without gratitude you cannot long keep from dissatisfied thought regarding things as they are.

32. To permit your mind to dwell upon the inferior is to become inferior and to surround yourself with inferior things.

33. To fix your attention on the best is to surround yourself with the best, and to become the best.

34. The Creative Power within us makes us into the image of that to which we give our attention.

35. The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best; therefore it tends to become the best.

36. The grateful mind continually expects good things, and expectation becomes faith.

37. You must form a clear and definite mental picture of what you want; you cannot transmit an idea unless you have it yourself.

38. You can never get rich, or start the creative power into action, by sending out unformed longings and vague desires.

39. All you need is to know what you want, and to want it badly enough so that it will stay in your thoughts.

40. The more clear and definite you make your picture then, and the more you dwell upon it, bringing out all its delightful details, the stronger your desire will be.

41. The man who can sincerely thank God for the things which as yet he owns only in imagination, has real faith.

42. It is faith and purpose in the use of the imagination which make the difference between the scientist and the dreamer.

43. Hold to the FAITH that the imaginary is being realized, and to the PURPOSE to realize it.

44. Think and speak of all the things you have asked for in terms of actual present ownership.

45. The science of getting rich does not require you to apply power or force to any other person, in any way whatsoever.

46. To get rich, you need only to use your will power upon yourself.

47. It is by your will that you determine upon what things your attention shall be fixed.

48. Get rich; that is the best way you can help the poor.

49. People must be taught to become rich by creation, not by competition.

50. The purpose of life for man is growth, just as the purpose of life for trees and plants is growth. Trees and plants grow automatically and along fixed lines; man can grow as he will. Trees and plants can only develop certain possibilities and characteristics; man can develop any power which is or has been shown by any person anywhere.

Triple Goddess Poem

She came to me in many faces, the Triple Goddess herself.

She was like Parvati, sweet, nurturing, affectionate, understanding, kind and compassionate. She loved me and supported me and believed in my dreams. She was like a mother to my daughter and that meant the world to me.

She was like Durga, fierce, protective, queenly, loyal and powerful, standing up for righteousness and truth, dignified and demanding respect. She stood up for me and protected my heart, she believed in honesty and the loyalty of true love. She cared for us, while living her dream and rising in her power. I respected her so much.

She was also Kali, dreadful, cold and harsh. Unleashed and unchained.. she ripped my head off and swallowed my heart, while fucking me to pieces… Our love was obliterated by her recklessness & self-sabotage.

For the Goddess Power is also unpredictable and unforgiving at times. It was a whirlwind and completely devastating but I learned to “let go” and that perhaps is her greatest lesson to me. Letting go of false pretenses and false promises. Letting go of expectations and worries. Letting go of fear. Letting go of her was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Because my love ran so deep. I believed in us and somehow.. I still do.. but now we part, with a broken heart, because I still fuckin love you, goodbye.💔

yes, this is bittersweet, but I guess that’s life. 😥

-By Sakshi Zion (Written in May 2019)

Shiva & Parvati
Kali Maa

Happy Gnostic Easter 🐰Resurrect into the Light ✨

“Behold thine immortal Self resurrected with Christ in the illuminating Light of Christ Consciousness, present in every soul, every flower, every atom.”

~Paramahansa Yogananda

At this sacred time of Easter, when we honor the life and resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ, may you awaken anew to the presence of his infinite consciousness—in the unfolding of God’s beauty in nature, in every impulse to reach out to others with empathy and love, and in the growing awareness of His joy within your soul. Liberated ones such as Christ come to lift us from the illusion that we are frail mortal beings, bound by the body and the dualities of this world. They remind us of the indomitable strength within us, of the love of which we are capable, and the oneness with the Divine that we can attain if we attune our lives with God and reach beyond this little “I” to care for all as part of our greater Self.

How deeply our hearts respond to Christ’s tender compassion, for our own true nature is love. We rejoice at his victory over human limitations because within every one of us is the urge to express our boundless soul. While the world prompts us to live on the surface of life, reacting to people and experiences according to the ego’s likes and dislikes, Christ and all God-united souls blaze before us the trail to freedom and divine expansion. Gurudeva Paramahansa Yogananda said, “The love that most persons feel for dearest family and friends, Jesus felt for the whole world and every living being.” It was this all-embracing love that motivated Christ to willingly lay down his life for the welfare of others. His supreme sacrifice was the culmination of countless acts of compassion, and a strength and humility cultivated by responding divinely to many daily trials. Let us take to heart his example and embrace the opportunities each day brings to resurrect our consciousness from the ego-bound lesser self to the soul’s goodness and understanding. The spirit of Christ manifests in us when we look for the positive qualities in others instead of judging them; when we forgive instead of harboring feelings of resentment; when with deep faith and an open heart we set aside our preferences to seek attunement with God and pray, “Father, not my will, but Thine, be done.”

Above all, Christ’s ability to love purely and selflessly, the spiritual strength that enabled him to conquer mortal consciousness, were forged in the stillness of soul-communion, in the loving relationship with his Heavenly Father that was his very life and being. To follow in his footsteps, we too must go within. This Easter, renew your resolve to nourish by meditation your relationship with the Divine, and to practice Christ’s way of kindness, forgiveness and loving service to all. As you draw closer to the Source of all love, Christ’s resurrection will have ever deeper meaning for you. May the infinite love that sustained Lord Jesus fill your consciousness and flow out to all who cross your path.

Loving wishes to you and your dear ones for a joyous and blessed Easter,

~Sri Daya Mata

Coronavirus & Christ’s Victory over Evil, Fear, Sickness & Death

The forces of evil, manipulation, fear mongering, and control may seem strong right now.. but we already have the Victory! Babylon has fallen! The Christ Spirit (Love & Light) has slain the dragon of deception, sickness, fear & death. Sing Praises unto JAH! Lift up your voices and proclaim the victory of Good over Evil! #LoveAlwaysWins ♥️

“I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Look, I have given you power to tread down serpents and scorpions. . . . Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice instead that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:17–20).

Many Faces Many Names (Official Music Video)

Backstory: We wrote and released this song over 11 years ago.. it became and continues to be one of our fans and friends favorites. Recently, B-Still and I were together in Bloomington, Indiana where we met and originally wrote and recorded the song.. and decided to shoot a video for our underground classic. We selected several spiritual destinations in “Btown” and Gabriel Lantz shot the footage. Yamily Creative Company edited the video and Chip Reardin, the original producer of the song, Re-Mastered the track as well. Enjoy! Namaste!


I am the One with Many Faces & Many Many Names,

God & Goddess in the hearts that flame,

The rain, the sun, the stars and the moon,

The earth and universe, the song and the tune.

(Verse 1 – Sakshi Zion)

I Am That I Am, the light, shining bright tonight

Like the fire of Yahweh before Moses at Sinai

The burning bush, Ganja, Holy Marijuana

There’s a natural mystic blowing thru the air, Oh Jah

Heartbeats of freedom, Buddha, Bodhisattva Zen,

I’mma climbin Jacob’s ladder to the highest heaven,

to the palace within, I sip the chalice again,

on my flyin carpet Iyah soar Himalayan Mountains

(Chorus)

(Verse 2 – B-Still)

They call me Buddha when they know that money isn’t true worth,

they call me the Great Spirit when they can feel me from the earth,

they call me Apollo when they follow me to the west,

call me Jesus in the Middle East, that’s where you know me best,

call me the effect of drugs, when they only feel me shroomin,

call me their soulmate when they see me in a human,

call me the Self of all things when you see things clearly..

It don’t matter what you call me, as long as you can hear me.

(Verse 3 – Sakshi Zion)

I am the one in Kailash, where I smoke ganja

With my coiled dreadlocks dat dem call Jata

They call me Shiva, in Meditation,

I have been that I Am from Creation,

to the zenith of the One, all my relations,

Aho Mitakyasin to all the nations

They call me Krishna Kokopeli with the magic flute

The Kabbalic Tree of Life, with everlasting fruits

They call me Bacchus, Dionysus, got the wine of bliss,

intoxicated circle dance with the flower goddesses,

they call me Isis, Mother Mary, the Magdalene,

the Queen, Triple Goddess, Gaia Earth so Green,

they call me Allah, the Great and Powerful Source,

Kundalini Shakti coiling serpent force,

they call me Rastafari, the King of Kings

Bhakti Yoga is the path, see me dance and sing ahhh

(Chorus & instrumental solo)

(Verse 4 – B-Still)

If I came as a blind man, would you hold my hand?

If I came as animal, would you protect my land?

If I came as the tree, would you cut me down?

And if I came as the rain, would you thank me now?

I come in Rainbows, not jus one single color

So when I come in another race, will you still see me as your brother?

If I said it was you, would you stop searching for me?

I’m what you close your eyes and feel, not what you think you see

They call me 99 names cause you can only describe me,

said I had 1000 yes, Infinity you’ll find me,

call me Keeli-Ana-Kulu-Kulu if you a Zulu

Under the Bodhi tree, like the Buddha I school you

(Verse 5 – Sakshi Zion)

I Am the Omkar, The Primordial Sound

Look Around, I Surround, You’re on Holy Ground

They call me Shanti, Shalom, Pax & Peace

Zion Temple of Love, I Am the High Priest

Emmanuel, Melchizedek, Avilokateshwar

Medicine Buddha and the Green Tara

I Am the whisper of the wind and the ocean’s wave

Jah Redemption call, knowledge of Self that saves

Yeshua Kristos, Haile Selassie I

I Am the Way, the Truth, the Life.

Living Well – Wellness Goal Reflection

Living Well – Goal Reflection

S. pecific

M. easurable

A. ttainable

R. ealistic

T. imely

My wellness goal has always been at the core of my intentions. I began this class with what I would consider a pretty well-informed and experienced understanding of wellness. That being said, I gained so much from this class because it expanded what I knew of wellness and touched on areas of wellness which I was neglecting to consider or implement, and it also forced me into activities and learning processes which showed me some major weaknesses I had in my personal wellness which needs more attention. This assignment and others helped also by pushing me to construct a practical goal to attain for optimal wellness.

The pedometer project showed me how much I’m active and walking daily. It gave me a way to make a good estimate of how much I’m walking daily without the use of a pedometer too.

At first I was only walking about 5,000 steps per day without pushing myself. Using the pedometer and pushing myself to walk more, I reached an average of about 8,000 steps per day. My goal was 10,000 steps per day and I had to really try to walk extra each day to reach that goal. I enjoyed it but it was definitely an extra 15-30 minutes every day of walking and moving around. I appreciate the difference it made me feel, both physically and mentally.

Ultimately the S.M.A.R.T. Goal assignment gave me an idea of how I would like to implement and maintain a certain way of life scheduled with a regular routine of activities which build and maintain optimal health and wellness.

My goal to reach and maintain is to:

*work out at the gym 2-3 times a week

*a bit of yoga, push-ups, walks and exercise each day

*1 yoga class weekly or biweekly

*Capoeira Angola (martial art/dance) 1-2 a week or biweekly

*1-2 Dance classes or Dance games/videos a week or biweekly

*massage therapy weekly or biweekly

*good food daily (vegetarian/vegan diet)

*good sleep daily

*Study and Reading daily

*Meditation and Prayer daily

*family time

*social outings

*writing, playing, recording music weekly

Now this seems like a lot. But all of them are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, & timely. The idea is that I intend to create a sort of weekly & monthly schedule where I incorporate the type of classes I want to take regularly which contributes to my wellness such as yoga classes, Capoeria classes, work out at the gym, massage therapy, dance classes, playing music with friends and social outings. And the second half of the goal is the maintain a certain active lifestyle daily at home or wherever I choose to be with such activities as yoga, walks, exercise, stretching, good sleep, eating well, family time, meditation and prayer, my music, study and reading.

The challenge is to maintain a schedule which will combine and balance all these activities and not overwhelm myself in conflict with the daily activities or life in general. Really, the goal is to set up life in a more active way, in a sense aligning social activities around active and wellness activities and shared experiences. I believe that the greatest challenge is just allowing the lazy feeling to get out of hand, because while we all need to be lazy and lounge around and relax sometimes, it’s most beneficial when we have been active and accomplishing things in life when that lounging, relaxing and contemplation really is appreciated most.

Having a regular wellness routine will be beneficial for me, I know that I could not fit all of the activities in weekly in my life, but it is a list of my tried and true activities and ways of living which I know I’d like to fill my life with. So as I approach my days ahead in monthly preparation I will try to pull from these attractions to fill and schedule my days. Thus, in the near future I will hopefully have established a routine of activities and wellness-related social outings as well.

Rabbi Arnold Josiah Ford: A Moses to His People

Ford, Arnold Josiah (23 Apr. 1877-16 Sept. 1935), rabbi, black nationalist, and emigrationist, was born in Bridgetown, Barbados, the son of Edward Ford and Elizabeth Augusta Braithwaite. Rabbi Ford asserted that his father’s ancestry could be traced to the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria and his mother’s to the Mendi tribe of Sierra Leone. According to his family‟s oral history, their heritage extended back to one of the priestly families of the ancient Israelites, and in Barbados his family maintained customs and traditions that identified them with Judaism (Kobre, 27). His father was a policeman who also had a reputation as a “fiery preacher‟ at the Wesleyan Methodist Church where Arnold was baptized; yet, it is not known whether Edward’s teaching espoused traditional Methodist beliefs or embodied the radical reconsiderations of Christianity and the embrace of Judaism that his son would later advocate.

Ford’s parents intended for him to become a musician. They provided him with private tutors who instructed him in several instruments—particularly the harp, violin, and bass. As a young adult, he studied music theory with the Edmestone Barnes of London and in 1899 joined the musical corps of the British Royal Navy, where he served on the HMS Alert. According to some reports, Ford was stationed on the island of Bermuda, where he secured a position as a clerk at the Court of Federal Assize, and he claimed that before coming to America he was a minister of Public Works in the Republic of Liberia, where many ex-slaves and then early black nationalists attempted to settle.

When Ford arrived in Harlem around 1910, he gravitated to its musical centers rather than to political or religious institutions—although within black culture, all three are interrelated. He was a member of the Clef Club Orchestra, under the direction of JAMES REESE EUROPE, which first brought jazz to Carnegie Hall in 1912. Other musicians who were black and Jewish, such as Willie “the Lion” Smith, an innovator of stride piano, also congregated at the Clef Club. Shortly after the orchestra’s Carnegie Hall engagement, Ford became the director of the New Amsterdam Musical Association. His interest in mystics, esoteric knowledge, and secrete societies is evidenced by his membership in the Scottish Rite Masons, where he served as Master of the Memmon Lodge. It was during this period of activities in Harlem that he married Olive Nurse, with whom he had two children before they divorced in 1924.

In 1917 MARCUS GARVEY founded the New York chapter of the Universal Negro Improvement Association [UNIA]. Within a few years it had become the largest mass movement in African American history. Arnold Ford became the musical director of the UNIA choir, Samuel Valentine was the president, and Nancy Paris its lead singer. These three became the core of an active group of black Jews within the UNIA who studied Hebrew, religion, and history, and held services at Liberty Hall, the headquarters of the UNIA. As a paid officer, Rabbi Ford, as he was then called, was responsible for orchestrating much of the pageantry of Garvey’s highly attractive ceremonies. Ford and Benjamin E. Burrell composed a song called “Ethiopia,” the lyrics of which spoke of a halcyon past before slavery and stressed pride in their African heritage—two themes that were becoming immensely popular. Ford’s efforts in the movement place him in the category of GEORGE ALEXANDER MCGUIRE, Chaplain-General of the UNIA, and various Islamic and Christian clergy who were each trying to influence the religious direction of the organization.

Ford’s contributions to the UNIA, however, were not limited to musical matters. He and E.L. Gaines wrote the handbook of rules and regulation for the African Legion (which was modeled after the Zionist Jewish Legion) and developed guidelines for the Black Cross Nurses. He served on committees, spoke at rallies, and was elected one of the delegates representing the 35,000 members of the New York chapter to the “First International Convention of Negro Peoples of the World,” held in 1920 at Madison Square Garden. There the governing body adopted the red, black, and green flag as its national ensign and Ford‟s song “Ethiopia” became the “Universal Ethiopian Anthem,” which the UNIA constitution required be sung at every gathering. During that same year, Ford published the Universal Ethiopian Hymnal. Ford was a proponent of replacing the disparaging term “Negro” with the term “Ethiopian,” as a general reference to people of African descent. This gave the line in Psalm 68 that “Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hand to God,” a new significance and it became popular slogan of the organization. At the 1922 convention, Ford opened the proceedings for the session devoted to “The Politics and Future of the West Indian Negro,” and he represented the advocates of Judaism on a five-person ad hoc committee formed to investigate “the Future Religion of the Negro.” Following Garvey’s arrest in 1923, the UNIA loss much of its internal cohesion. Since Ford and his small band of followers were motivated by principals that were independent of Garvey’s charismatic appeal, they were repeatedly approached by government agents and asked to testify against Garvey at trial, which they all refused to do. However, in 1925, Ford brought separate law suits against Garvey and the UNIA for failing to pay him royalties from the sale of recordings and sheet music, and in 1926 the judge ruled in Ford’s favor. Yet, despite his personal and business differences with the organization, Ford remained active in the UNIA as a rabbi, giving invocations and benedictions.

Several black religious leaders experimented with various degrees of Judaism between the two world wars. Rabbi Ford formed intermittent partnerships with some of these leaders. He and Valentine started a short lived congregation called Beth B’nai Israel. Ford then worked with Mordecai Herman and the Moorish Zionist Temple, until they had an altercation over theological and financial issues. Finally, he established Beth B’nai Abraham in 1924. A Jewish scholar who visited the congregation described their services as “a mixture of Reform and Orthodox Judaism, but when they practice the old customs they are seriously orthodox” (Kobre, 25). Harlem chronicler JAMES VANDERZEE photographed the congregation with the Star of David and bold Hebrew lettering identifying their presence on 135th Street and showing Rabbi Ford standing in front of the synagogue with his arms around his string bass, and with members of his choir arrayed at his side, the women wearing the black dresses and long white head coverings that became their distinctive habit and the men donned in white turbans.

In 1928, Rabbi Ford created a business adjunct to the congregation called the B’nai Abraham Progressive Corporation. Reminiscent of many of Garvey’s ventures, this corporation issued 100 shares of stock and purchased two buildings from which it operated a religious and vocational school in one and an apartment house in the other. However, the resources to sustain this enterprise dwindled as the Depression became more pronounced, and the corporation went bankrupt in 1930. Once again it seemed that Ford’s dream of building a black community with cultural integrity, economic viability, and political virility was dashed, but out of the ashes of this disappointment he mustered the resolve to make a final attempt in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government had been encouraging black people with skills and education to immigrate to Ethiopia for almost a decade, and Ford knew that there were over 40,000 indigenous black Jews already in Ethiopia who called themselves Beta Israel, but who were commonly referred to as Falasha. The announced coronation of Haile Selassie in 1930 as the first black ruler of an African nation in modern times raised the hopes of black people all over the world and led Ford to believe that the timing of his Ethiopian colony was providential.

Ford arrived in Ethiopia with a small musical contingent in time to perform during the coronation festivities. They then sustained themselves in Addis Abba by performing at local hotels and relying on assistance from supporters in the United Sates who were members of the Aurienoth Club, a civic group of black Jews and black nationalists, and members of the Commandment Keepers Congregation, led by RABBI W. A. MATTHEW, Ford‟s most loyal protégé. Mignon Innis arrived with a second delegation in 1931 to work as Ford’s private secretary. She soon became Ford’s wife, and they had two children in Ethiopia. Mrs. Ford established a school for boys and girls that specialized in English and music. Ford managed to secure 800 acres of land on which to begin his colony and approximately 100 individuals came to help him develop it. Unbeknownst to Ford, the U.S. State Department was monitoring their efforts with irrational alarm, dispatching reports with such headings as “American Negroes in Ethiopia—Inspiration Back of Their Coming Here—”Rabbi Josiah A. Ford,” and instituting discriminatory policies to curtail the travel of black citizens to Ethiopia. [Explain why briefly]

Ford had no intention of ever leaving Ethiopia, so he drew up a certificate of ordination (shmecha) for Rabbi Matthew that was sanctioned by the Ethiopian government with the hope that this document would give Matthew the necessary credentials to continue the work that Ford had begun in the United States. By 1935 the black Jewish experiment with Ethiopian Zionism was on the verge of collapse. Those who did not leave because of the hard agricultural work, joined the stampede of foreign nationals who sensed that war with Italy was imminent and defeat for Ethiopia certain. Ford, it was said, died of exhaustion and heartbreak in September, a few weeks before the Italian invasion.

Further Reading

The papers of Rabbi Ford are held largely in private collections; however, correspondence between Ford and Matthew is contained in the Rabbi Matthew Collection at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, along with other collections relating to Harlem’s black Jews. Detailed records of Ford‟s efforts in Ethiopia are available at the National Archives, State Department Records for Ethiopia.

King, Kenneth J. “Some Notes on Arnold J. Ford and New World Black Attitudes to Ethiopia,” in Black Apostles: Afro-American Clergy Confront the Twentieth Century, Randall Burkett and Richard Newman, eds. (1978).

Kobre, Sidney. “Rabbi Ford,” The Reflex 4, no. 1 (1929): 25-29. Scott, William R. “Rabbi Arnold Ford‟s Back-to-Ethiopia Movement: A Study of Black Emigration, 1930-1935,” Pan-African Journal 8, no. 2 (1975):191-201. and Richard Newman (1978) and William R. Scott. “Rabbi Arnold Ford‟s Back-to- Ethiopia Movement: A Study of Black Emigration, 1930-1935,” Pan-African Journal 8, no. 2 (1975): 191-201.

*This article was published by Rabbi Sholomo Levy in African American Lives (2004) and the African American National Biography (2008). Both volumes were edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham and printed by Oxford University Press.

Footprints In The Sand

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed

he was walking along the beach with the LORD.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.

For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of

his life there was only one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very

lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he

questioned the LORD about it:

“LORD, you said that once I decided to follow

you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when

I needed you most you would leave me.”

The LORD replied:

“My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

Author: Carolyn Joyce Carty