We all experience pivotal moments in our lives, but for the chosen few, those moments become spiritual blessings that lead to a spiritual transformation that also helps others. In this episode, Corin Grillo sits down with someone who is right in the middle of working through and stepping into his influence as a spiritual leader. She has over Brother Oran Parker, the host of the podcast, Find the Good News, a show focused on good people doing good works wherever he can find them. As the world continues to become even more chaotic day by day, it helps to get reminded of the daily blessings we get to receive and find the good that is hidden even in the darkest of places. Tune into this great conversation to find out how Oran was touched by a spiritual experience, particularly that with an angel, that inspired him to get clear on his mission to bring hope and happiness to all corners of the world.
Listen to the podcast here:
Encounter With An Angel – Find The Good News With Oran Parker
In this episode, I have been struggling to try to gather my thoughts about what to say because I felt like nothing I could say can articulate the feeling behind how I feel about this guest and how important I feel it is for you to know his story. I met him originally on his podcast called Find The Good News and right away, I could tell that there was something different about him. As we went through our interview, it came out that he was touched by a spiritual experience, which I would frame as experience with an angel. Others would frame it in different ways, but what is clear is that moment changed his life forever. He is right in the middle of working through and stepping into his influence as a spiritual leader with his podcast. He also has a Facebook page called The Dawn Deacon, where he shares wide information. He has a company called Parker Brand Creative Services. What I said to you doesn’t come even remotely close to coming in contact with the essence of Oran Parker.
He is an incredible soul. As soon as I met him, I knew that there was something special about him. I then found out about his spiritual experience and I understand him as one of the beacons of light that is sharing his gift and courage with the world. This interview was done before all the protests and the black lives movement. He is a man that is living in Louisiana and there are many levels of courage, honesty, and rawness to Oran Parker. I am grateful to know him. I am a huge fan of his podcast and I don’t say that often. He is one of my beacons of hope, one of the people that I’m watching so that I can remember to take the high road, the powerful road, or the vocal road. If you follow him on Facebook or any of his other social media, you will see he is not playing it safe. He is very vocal and he’s doing incredible heart-centered loving work. It’s a conversation and we do a lot of deep-diving into the different territories some of the things that I discussed. I hope you enjoy meeting Brother Oran, as one of the titles he goes by. Here you have it.[bctt tweet=”Always remember that beneath all the ashes and the pains is that burning coal that needs the wind of spirit.” username=””]
I’m going to pull you from this new card deck called the Divine Feather. Breathe with me, Oran. I know you’re such a magical human, so we’re going to ask that whatever birdie would like to give you a message come forward. This one is called The Vulture Feather and it says, “Accept the inevitable. Let go of the past and welcome a rebirth to begin.” What’s crazy is that I’ve been getting a lot of symbology about rebirth. I feel like maybe it’s because of what’s going on with the planet, all of us are collectively going through some level of rebirth in one way or another. Can you relate to that?
I can, 100%. On a broader scale and then hyper specifically to my own life going through that for sure. In fact, I was having that conversation with my wife. It was like a little lever switched. It was almost like I had a plugin my mind that was telling me that I was only going to get so far with my mission to put it in a good signal out in the world and not get beyond my local community, which is important to do. I also had bigger aspirations to get outside of the local circle, but it seemed like all of that tumbling out of the way in every single day.
I’m not exaggerating. Every day since then, I have made new broader connections with organizations and people all over the world that I can help them share their signals. Where that goes, I don’t know but I feel that change on a personal level. I can feel the momentum of that. On a broader scope, even my I Ching readings have all been about that. It is all about change and rebirth, but they’ve been specific about coming to a point of no return to some degree where there’s a major birthing happening. It may be even a little painful, but it’s coming through that.
I’m getting massive goosebumps and chills when you’re talking about that. Are you seeing it every day?
Yes. I’m not scared of fractures like I was maybe when I was a kid. Sometimes when you’re a kid, we’re taught that when pain comes, we should pull our hand away from it. In my modest journey, the pain has been a part of it. I don’t mean like, “I want to be in pain,” but the pain has always been at the front end of some big change and I can go out in my garden and look at that. We are growing lotuses and that’s a process. You put these lotus seeds in the water and you have to shave the edge off of it to get to the meat. That’s painful to that seed. As the lily pads of the lotus start to unfold, the husk of the seed is cracking and falling off as they grow. I look at that as a clear sign built into the creation that’s a part of beautiful new things coming in and we need to be okay with that.
That’s a beautiful symbol and metaphor. I feel like there are many people, in a way, going through that. To some of them, it could feel a death process. They maybe feel out of touch even with the good because they haven’t quite gotten there yet. I know with your story because we share a lot of similar stuff in the past. You talked to me when you were younger about going through the trenches and then having something pretty wild to get you out of that. Tell us a little bit more about that.
I’m happy to share that. I always caution myself and others before I start talking about that. I can tend to stay there for a long time because the details become varied. There’s so much information, but I’ll do my best to give them a medium temperature version of this. That begins for me in 1995. I know this because everything became date-specific around this event that happened to me. I called it an event but it is not fireworks in a parade type of event. It was a personal event in a lonely isolated place. Backing up a little precursor, I was in a loved family, but I didn’t come from a family that didn’t have its fair share of emotional and mental trauma. That created and made trenches in me. That’s the way I like to think of it.
It’s like the little mud ruts. You try to go down a trail and then you realize you’ve driven down that trail so much that the tires don’t want to turn anymore. That was who I had become. I had a lot of pain and fear that I didn’t understand. At that time, I was young. I was 20 about to turn 21 because I’m an August son. Before my 21st birthday, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I know this is going to seem strange, but I’m going to try to use the language that I was using at that time and that language was death. I felt like I was dead. That was what I was saying to myself. I was like, “I am dead.” I didn’t feel any hope. I didn’t feel like I had a purpose. I was turning into a man, so I didn’t know what that even meant. I didn’t have a good relationship with one of my parents, which was my father figure at that time. I didn’t have even that as a guiding principle. I was almost teacherless, religionless, and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.
When I would have conversations with people, they were like, “Maybe it’s this career or that career.” I said, “These conversations aren’t doing it for me because it has nothing to do with a career. That’s not what I’m talking about.” I couldn’t find anybody that got it like, “What is he saying?” I had made the decision that oddly enough, and it is something I still do to this day, it painted my whole life. I decided to make a personal retreat for myself. I had always loved the Natchitoches, Louisiana. That’s about three hours from where I live in a Northern direction. I live on the coast. Natchitoches is the oldest town in the Louisiana Purchase. We’re not just talking about the state of Louisiana, that whole area that was the Louisiana Purchase that ran through the middle of the United States. This town is the oldest settlements.[bctt tweet=”Move away from analyzing to just contemplating.” username=””]
I loved that town for its history but I said, “It’s away. It’s a new environment. I feel peace when I visit there.” I had visited there and I decided to make a personal retreat. I don’t want myself to sound like I was smart, I wasn’t. I didn’t know what was going on. I was terrified of the truth of the matter. I wasn’t suicidal, but I felt like if something didn’t change, I was going to die. In a way, I did die. I stopped at a K&B drug store. They’re a big chain down in Louisiana. They’re no longer around, but I remember stopping at a K&B and buying one of those marble composition notebooks.
I went to Natchitoches and I thought, “I’m going to figure this out.” That was my goal. I’m going to figure out what’s wrong with me. I’m going to write. I’m going to go inside myself and figure this out. This is another thing that I’ve learned to harsh on that day was that you can paint these things in your imagination. You can make these fairytales up that things aren’t going to be perfect. For me, it was I’m going to get to Natchitoches. I’m going to sit on a park bench somewhere. I’m going to feel the air and I’m going to write in my journal. I’m going to go to the self-discovery for a weekend. I got there and the weather was terrible. There was a horrible thunderstorm that night and I ended up sitting in my truck on the streets even more dead feeling. I couldn’t go in and didn’t know where I wanted to go right.
You only had two days to figure this whole thing out and the rain was interrupting your flow, harshing your buzz.
I don’t know why it’s significant, but I can remember this visually. It was burned in my brain. I was driving down one of their brick streets and the storm kicked up and a big limb fell out of a tree right in front of the street where I was driving. I took that as a sign. I was angry. The truth of the matter is I was mad. I was like, “This whole thing sucks. It’s a terrible idea. You screwed up. You’re not going to get your answers.” I was on this self-defeating cascade. I said, “I’m going to go back to my hotel room, suck it up and spend the night in the hotel room,” which sounded miserable. As I’m driving out to the hotel, this storm to me was epic. The rain was blowing sideways. It almost blew my vehicle off the road. I got to the hotel. When I got out of my car, the wind blew my door open and everything’s all wet. I opened my hotel room door and the wind blew that open and it’s full of water from the rain. I got in there and the power was out. I was like, “This gets worse and worse. Life does suck. Maybe you can’t daydream things into existence and maybe you’re not going to find the answer.”
I was down. It was even worse than when I had left. The truth is it was even worse. I didn’t know what tomorrow is going to bring. That night, I went to sleep in a hot muggy hotel room. It’s completely dark except for the storm and quiet too. There was no air conditioner and stuff. There’s the sound of the storm. I had a dream. I can say it’s the first dream I’ve ever had in my life that felt different than anything else with my other dreams. It wasn’t filled with weird stuff that doesn’t make sense. Some dreams are like, “That’s my house, but it’s not my house.” You’re like, “What does this mean?” This dream was like reality.
In the dream, the storm was not there. It was a beautiful day. The sky was blue and the wind was blowing. I remember these big details of it. I was in a cemetery. I remember thinking there was snow, but these little pink pieces of snow were falling all around me. The one thing that stood out from that dream was that I didn’t feel dead. I felt healed by 100%. I was invigorated by that feeling like, “This is not the way I feel.” I felt myself even. I felt more like I should feel. I don’t know how long I was in that state. I know that I spent time there. It felt very visceral and textured with real sensations.
That’s fascinating because a lot of times, you can’t feel anything in dreams. I had a lot of sex dreams and I’m trying to feel something and I can’t.
This was not like that. It was textured. I remember thinking until I woke up, I would have not thought I was asleep. It was one of those types of dreams. I know people have dreams like that. They call them lucid dreams to some degree. It was like I was aware that I was there. It didn’t occur to me that I was dreaming. I knew something was different. I then woke up and the storm was gone. It was the morning and the weather was beautiful. I was inspired by that dream and I said, “I’m going to go get a little map and I’m going to see if there’s an old cemetery in town.” I found a little pamphlet showed that there was a historic cemetery that would be considered the oldest cemetery in Louisiana by the standard of the Louisiana Purchase.
I got in my little truck and I packed up my stuff. I drove to that cemetery and I parked. I’ll never forget the way because I still do this to this day. I still make this journey every year in August. I parked away from the cemetery and I walked down the sidewalk. There was an old iron gate. I walked in the iron gate and I walked up the steps into this old place. It hits me like a ton of bricks that I’m in my dream. It was the same space. That pink snow was these beautiful pink and red crepe myrtles. As the wind would blow, they would fall down. They still do that to this day. It’s beautiful and it hits me pretty clearly.
I got invigorated and scared at the same time. I walked up the path and I stopped at this grave that caught my eye. It had a crown on it. It had an inscription and it said, “Not dead translated to a higher state to which the angel death swings wide the gate. We too must pass and there they wait.” I stood there for a while and read it. I remember it because it was like, “This is speaking to me,” but that wasn’t where I was supposed to go. It was a message. I kept meandering through the cemetery. It has a lot of paths and I went over this hill. As I walked over the hill, this wave of remorse, sorrow, and love all blended together moved through me.
There was this solid little grave sitting there and it was not that old. You could still see that it had been dug within a year. There was not a lot of grass growing around it. I was drawn to it because it was littered with sunflowers. People had been bringing sunflower tokens, decorations, and letters. This grave was covered with this stuff. I fell down on my knees by this grave. I’ve always described this as throwing up the type of feeling, but it wasn’t like a physical throwing up. Everything that I had felt, all that death, sorrow, worry, fear, and confusion, all that trenches from my childhood that was unhealed, everything that I would consider negative markers, it felt like all that was being thrown up out of my body into this grave.
I don’t know how long I was there. I cried, wailed, and stopped, and then I would do it again. As clear as if I’m talking to you, it was like a voice of clarity that was almost like a feeling, but also a voice. It wasn’t audible, but it was like an internal clearness said these words, which had so much more meaning to them than the words, “Leave with your heart.” Unpacking that was so much bigger than what those simple words meant. It made me ask, “What is my heart?” All that death and depression were gone. It felt like a light had bathed over my whole being. My whole self was changed and I felt free. I was on my hands and knees, and I looked at the girl’s grave. All of that was strange enough, but I don’t think I’d put my finger on it that something else may be supernatural is going on. It hadn’t occurred to me yet.
It felt good, but I wasn’t in the mode of investigating it. It was more experiential and I didn’t put it together, but I look up at the girl’s grave and her death date on the grave was August 1st, 1994. The day that I’m there was August 1st, 1995, one year later. That’s when this is happening. In my young brain, I said, “That’s weird.” It was almost like a big gasp like, “Is this a coincidence?” That’s what I said to myself, “What a weird coincidence. What are the odds?” I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew this. I do what I took away and I decided I left right then. I didn’t finish my whole weekend. I left and I drove home. My heartfelt like it was going to burst out of my chest. That was a 2.5-hour drive and it felt like my brain had been kicked into overdrive.
I was looking around and questioning everything. It was like it was the first day I saw a flower, felt the wind, heard the birds, and felt the texture of gravel beneath my feet. All that stuff was alive and heightened and almost singing to be noticed. The coincidences, that date kickstarted it, but then it was the presence of a female, of a loving girl, of a person, but something else. I didn’t know how to describe it. That notebook that I didn’t write in that weekend became the beginning of me trying to understand that. I’ve been chasing that for many years. That’s the beginning of what we talked about. What unfolds from there.
I feel the magnitude of the real change that happened almost instantly. I pulled a Vulture Feather for you. This is associated with death.
You probably saw me lift my arm. I have a skull on me. I put that and I’m not afraid of those things. I’m sitting here saying, “There’s another one on my coffee mug.” It’s a part of our journey. I say that as somebody who may or may not be healthy, but I know that my perspective that day on death changed. I didn’t believe in it anymore. It was like the sting of death was stripped away. Death started to mean something different. I had an experience with this young girl who would become something more or always was something more. I learned from that experience that there is something over this veil that we were living in and that was comforting to me. That was all it took.
Do you feel like the girl that was in contact with you was the same girl at the grave?
Even in the last couple of years, my wife came into my life much later on and I shared some of this journey with her. She sees things happen that we can’t explain. It’s not like she sees things happen like I put a rock in the ground and a sunflower grew out of it. I don’t mean it like that, but weird connections that aren’t sought after that are hyper-specific to her and her life. Even all these years later, she’s still a very active and working friend. I’ve told you this when we talked. I used the term, my friend in the flowers and that’s the truth. That’s the best way I can describe her. She walks in a place that is filled with sunlight that I can’t tell you which direction it’s coming from.
That space where I feel she is, it’s omnidirectional. It’s all-pervading and all-present. It’s filled full light and everywhere, things grow around her. I know that having met her parents, for them, that’s their daughter. For me, my only experience with her has been full of light. When I see her, especially when I see her open her arms, it’s light spreading out somewhat like wings. She came to me to comfort me when my father was dying and to comfort my dying father, I believe. That’s what appeared in my mind’s eye. It was an unfolding of a winged presence that was light. It wasn’t feathers, it was light. It was like a portal almost of comfort. I don’t know how to describe it. Sometimes the words fall down and disappear and none of it makes sense.
What I love about when you’re describing this story is the heartfelt honesty. I can feel the awe of witnessing this and not seeking it out, but that it’s happening to you. I also noticed that you’re not officially calling her an angel, even though you’re alluding to wing-like or something. Tell me a little bit about that.
I wish I had this to show you. I could send these things to you, but I would draw them. I’m an artist. Sometimes when I get a concept, I can draw it out. If you look at my old sketchbooks from that time period, when I would draw her, she was an angel. Everyone around me in my life, if I finally felt comfortable sharing those things with, that’s how I would say to her. In fact, I would write lyrics or a little poem and stuff. I remember one morning specifically, it was right at the cusp of winter. Here in Louisiana, that’s iffy. We had a cold day and I lived out in the country with my parents at that time.
There was this cow pasture. When it was cold and the sun would hit it, you’d see that steam rise off the Earth. I had gotten to take into these long country walks to meditate on this experience and try to understand how I was changing and more in-tuned with the energies of the world. The sunrise for sure. One morning, I got up right as the sun came across the pasture and I started weeping. That feeling was the same as the feeling I had at that cemetery. I knew at that moment that that feeling wasn’t isolated by space and time. That was a very clear thing to me that this is not just in this sacred space for me. This is also something that I can carry across space and time with me.[bctt tweet=”Fear is useless. What is needed is trust.” username=””]
I gave it a name that day. I called it Winter Fire because the Earth was cold and I was shivering outside, but I was still warmed from within like some other type of fire so I wrote this lyric. I called her that for a long time, the Winter Fire. I said, “Winter Fire, who’s this angel that I see. My soul is on fire, your love has lifted me.” That was a little mantra I’ve made for myself when I would have that feeling to acknowledge that. It was attached to her, but it was beyond her at the same time. It was like a gift. That’s the word I’ve used many times. It’s a gift and I have to give it away too. Even when I fail at it, I have to give it away to people. What she gave me, I got to give it away.
That’s the mission, I suppose in a simple term. Angel was a part of that visually and in some of my language, but at the same time, there’s a real human history too. This was someone’s daughter, born, died, and lived a life. I’ll tell you something about her. I’m avoiding saying her name because I don’t have permission to share these things. I’m trying to be cautious and be respectful to her family. She was a young beauty queen. When I finally did meet her family, I was like, “People have been trying to put a crown on her head and elevating her, her whole life.” It’s the truth.
She wasn’t just a pretty girl, she was a good person. She befriended those on the fringes, reached out to people and her thinking was enlightened. If you read some of her things she wrote in high school, you’re like, “This was a kid thinking some pretty broad scope, high things.” That told me there was something special about her, but I didn’t have the impression that she was an angelic type of being. As you said, I am confused. I don’t have the right language for that, as you can probably tell. I almost liked the intersection of knowing and not knowing a little bit because it leaves the door open for new possibilities, like talking to you.
When these kinds of experiences happen, sometimes it’s easy to put them back in the box. I think these happened to people and they do put them back in the box. A big miracle happened for me and I know I had a choice. I could have compartmentalized it and moved on with my life. For you, it didn’t even seem like an option. It seemed like it was living through you, breathing through you and you said, “Yes.”
That’s partly true. That’s an unfolding thing still because I can tell you there have been times and they weren’t some of the darker times, even after that. I think that’s part of what keeps me seeking. I love these stories about people like this because you have an awakening. It’s like the old Zen saying. I’m going to mess that all up probably, but it’s like, “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” I had to go back into the world and I was young. I didn’t know what was going on. I still did dumb things that young people do. I still made mistakes that young people make, but somewhere underneath it all, there was this understanding that that was there, even when I made bad mistakes and went through long periods of dryness and darkness.
I remember specifically one would be like my divorce. That was painful. My first marriage got toxic. I hadn’t touched those sacred and holy things in a long time, but it was almost like there was a source of contention because I knew they were there and I wasn’t accessing them. I was trying to survive in the world. As soon as that marriage broke and things started shifting, I almost went right back through that whole process. I can remember going running one afternoon and there was a thunderstorm out. I stood out in the thunderstorm and felt the energy of that. It reminded me of that day when that storm came and the dream and things shifted right there. It was like, “She’s still here.” As soon as I had acknowledged that she was still present and that energy, that Winter Fire was still alive and present as bright, I had changed. She had not ceased. I had ceased to pay attention to. All of a sudden, it starts kicking off again, coincidences, miracles, connections and trajectories change. I tried to remember that even though when I fall off, that’s the undertow of everything. It’s underneath everything.
It’s underneath all the crust, crap, or whatever dramas we’re playing in. When you start getting the synchronicities and when you start feeling the flow, what’s your take on that? What do you think that is?
I’ll try to describe it in plain terms. I’ll give you an example of one and I still carry these things with me now and it has painted my path. I love religion and spirituality in all categories. I’m always excited to find intersections where language, maybe is a barrier, but then when you dig you go, “They’re trying to describe the same type of experience.” One day, I got back from that trip and everything was changed to me. I was lit on fire, like kilowatts coming out of my head. I was driving by an old rundown car wash in my hometown. The compulsion was so strong that I had to do what I was being told to do. It’s weird when I hear stories like this before, I would’ve said, “They’re making this stuff up,” but it was clear. It was like, “Turnaround and go to that carwash and walk through the flea market,” because there was a flea market in there. That’s a weird thing out of nowhere. I had no intention. I didn’t go to flea markets. was driving and the compulsion overwhelming. I said, “I’ve had enough experiences in the last few days to understand that I should listen to this feeling, these words, this nudge, this push.”
I turned my car around in traffic and I went and parked. I walked in there. This place was full of stuff. Imagine a carwash with knickknacks in every bay. There was a dump everywhere. I walked right over to this box. It’s like a little plastic box and laying in that box were three things. One was a silver sunflower medal, as a structured medal of a sunflower. That’s a high symbol for her. The other thing was a silver medal, very old from India. It was sitting right next to it. The other thing structured next to it was a silver medal of Jesus and the Sacred Heart. I picked them both. I touched them and I knew what I was supposed to do. I bought them and I paid for them. I still have these things. Oddly enough, those things have been my three silos, Eastern religion and spirituality, Western and mystical Christianity, and the sunflower path, which was my primary column of spirituality at that point. I still to this day consider those my three arms that I can find. I use that as an example because it was specific, but it’s always like little nudges, pictures.
It’s amazing because when you have an awakening, you start feeling these little nudges and all of us get the nudges, but most of us don’t listen. It seems like those three things are like some pebbles that the divine is leading you through this incredible symbol.
We talked about Metatron when we were on my podcast. I went back and did some more digging into that because through the sunflower, I started studying sacred geography, Fibonacci numbers, and all these sequences. That became a path of interest for me. I started looking into Metraton’s Cube and I realized how much of that design and Metraton’s Cube falls right into that sacred geography. That for me was a whole other path of study. I love those intersections like that because I wouldn’t have gone down that path, but you do see how they layered this layered reality how things overlay. I was like, “Here we go again. This sunflower is still a door to this day for new connections and insights.”
It is a new awakening. When we were talking on your podcast, you live in a traditional Christian community. You did come from that background and how this awakening puts you in the face of that. I’m wondering how did you grow up? When you got activated, what happened? Slowly and surely, you’re coming out of the closet a little bit. Tell me about that.
I told somebody that I was a mud. My mom and dad did not go to church. At least, they didn’t go whenever to my knowledge or have any memories of them going when I was a child. My aunt and uncle went to a Baptist church that was on the same highway that I grew up on out in the country. They would go there and took me there. I would go with them pretty regularly. Most of my memories of that were positive. I was like any other kid. I would sit and draw the bulletin during the church service. I didn’t pay attention to anything. I guess there was some transmission there, but mostly I got singing. I then went to Bible school when I was a kid. It was fun because my friends were there. I spent a lot of my teenagers playing at church with friends and going to church to be with friends and I had no aversion to it in any way.
In fact, the year before I went to high school, I decided to be baptized. That was a good experience for me. As I was reflecting on it now, I saw it as a rite of passage. I was going through stuff even then where I was trying to figure out who I am and who I’m supposed to be. I had thoughts like that when I was a kid. I had a heavy mind as a child. It was important to me to go through something, to be a part of something. I did that and then somewhere in high school, I stopped. I got into camping, hiking, canoeing, and nature was always a lot of fun for me and my friends. That became my spirituality. I didn’t have any heavy spiritual thoughts about it. I will say later, once I got drawn into religion, I was drawn into Catholicism. Not necessarily from the secular point of view of being a part of an organization or our church or whatever. I thought as I started studying it, that there were some high ideas, high mystical things being talked about. I was a little disappointed when I finally did enter the Catholic church, which I’ve since left because of those mystical things and experiences I was having, especially after my father died. There were some high symbols in my life. These are powerful stuff that I knew from earlier studies were Catholic.
I’ll give you an example. I was going through another shocking, whole breaking right after my father died because my friend and the flowers had given me comfort and shown me some things. The dreams kicked off again with high symbols in them. I was trying to make sense of it all in again. Another cool winter morning, I was walking and I got that Winter Fire feeling again. The weeping started and that’s always a part of it for me, weeping and wailing, but not like I’m hurt way. The only way I’ve described it as like weeping for the world in a bigger way, sacred tears. It’s something like that. That’s always what it’s felt like.
I was walking home from that experience and I was still going through it. I had had a fire the night before with my family. All of a sudden, as I started getting closer to the home, my house, I got these images of the fire and blowing and digging through these ashes. Way down at the bottom of the ashes was this little tiniest speck of coal from the night before. This wind starts blowing on it and as it begins to blaze inside of that fire, I wanted to stick my hands into it. There was a heart inside of it. It was weeping somehow and it was on fire too. I got home and I leaned down over the fire. I dug through the ashes and I started blowing it. I put a little twig in and then a bigger twig. I kept building the fire until it was roaring again.
The more the fire roared, the more I wept and the more that image of the heart kept pumping in my mind. The lesson I took from that day was to always remember that beneath all the ashes and all the things, the pains and burning things, and maybe things that have gone like you lose a parent is that underneath all of that at the very core of it all, there’s still that burning coal. All it needs is the wind of spirit blow on that and feed it the elements of your life. That’s what that symbolized for me. It was like, “Feed the little pieces of your life and then the bigger pieces of your life and it’s always there to burn.” That heart symbolized that this heart is beating for everyone and it wants to draw us in. I decided to go on a Catholic journey after that because of that burning heart. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that experience with the structures of the church.
You gave it the old college try.
I tried not very long, but I realized I was putting another box around this thing that didn’t want to be in a box.
I love that you did that and how open you are. It seems like you’re willing to explore in places that may be a lot of people in your part of Louisiana are afraid of, the mystical experiences and things like that. How open have you been? When we talked on your podcast, you were hesitant to talk full-blown about your story. Can you tell me about that process for you?
I don’t talk about it with people where I don’t feel it’s not well-received. You can almost tell where it’s going to be well-received and that’s probably fear. I still am like anybody and I’m going to do this true admission that, “I’ve still got a business, a family, and I’ve got relationships. Should I go all the way? Should I do as I said I should do, which is all the parts of my life into the fire and watch it burn with this heart? How can I hand that to people?” What I’m starting to learn finally, through the podcast and making connections with people like you, that was a real blessing of a conversation is that I go, “I can hand that to people because there are other people that are cold out there too. They want the warmth of a fire.” You build a fire, people will come to sit with you around it. It’s meant to be shared. It goes back to the old lesson. It’s a gift. Share the gift. I think I have a problem with ego. I worry that ego’s going to get in the way because I’ve seen it happen many times with people. Spirituality can be like that too and go, “I’m a spiritual superstar, all of a sudden.” I don’t know why but that type of thing sometimes gets me a little cringy feeling. I get a little bit of a feeling like I need to wait and step back. I want to corrupt.
I feel you on this because I’ve been more vocal, more out there about this stuff. I do think it’s a delicate line to walk, but I find our kids and our partners keep us humble no matter what. You could be helping people make miracles out there and it doesn’t matter because they are fricking humanizing you all day long. I’m grateful for that. This is how I feel about the presidency or politicians. Sometimes, the best people to run for a country for president would never even want to run for president. They wouldn’t even put their name on the hat. The people who are coming to it, who probably have the highest division with less ambition are probably the best ones. I feel like the spiritual leaders or people who are going to speak on these topics are the ones who want to hang out in the background that I feel need that power. I know we share that, so I understand what you’re saying there.
It’s a dance. I say this a lot to people is that I don’t like being out front. We talked about that at one point or another that I don’t like being out front, but at the same time, I end up out front a lot. I seem to be okay once I get out front and doing whatever I’ve been asked to do, but I am not great about getting the accolades from it, like the recognition. For instance, through the show. I’m sure you experience this a lot. We have private conversations and those are great. Some of my guests for my show, I’ve been able to have that and it’s weird because you fall into the role of spiritual accompaniment, which I’ve come to accept that. The role of certain guests is to accompany them. They know that there’s more going on there. It’s beyond promoting their good work. They sense that there’s a further place for them to go in their journey and they want you to help them.
What I’m trying to do is share the gift. When one of those people shows up and says, “I’m going through something. I feel like this change is coming. These things are showing up in my life.” I’m trying to lean into that and go, “I can be there with you and trust those old gifts.” I know I’ve used that word and that’s the only way I can describe it. When a high symbol keeps reoccurring or showing up in my heart and my mind, then it intersects with another human being. For me, that was a way that I was changed and healed. It was healthy and it got me to some next steps. That’s a gift that I should share with other people too and carry on the tradition. This occurs to me sometimes about that grave in Natchitoches and about that experience.
The only people who know most of the details of the story are people who have been close to me. What a tragedy. Her parents are older than me so they know some of the stories, but someday they’re going to pass away, and then what happens then? For me, it’s like a tradition. I try to look at it that way and go, “My job is to pass that on. Not just the story, but the gift of what I received that day.” What a shame it would be for me to take it and go, “I now know a lot about religion. I’ve spent many years studying this and then. I’ve had all these cool experiences and they’re fun to talk about with the right people who also get excited by it.” Beyond telling the story, is it giving somebody a transformative experience? I want that for other people. I want people to wake up and see the world saying as I saw back then. I want people to do that and I believe they can.
When we opened up with a rebirth, is this part of the rebirth that’s going on for you in the background coming to the forefront, which is it’s not enough to tell this story, but you may want to support feeding that fire?
I want to throw whatever gifts I have into that and let them be a part of that, whether it’s my business. That’s part of why the podcast was formed. It was to say, “How can I throw these skills into this because I hadn’t been doing that? I’ve been surviving.”
Let’s talk about your podcast because I love it. I do want you to talk about it as an expression of this burning fire, this movement that you’re creating.
When you look at the branding that we created for the show, it doesn’t reflect almost anything that I talked about.
Find The Good News, all you need to do is take one O out and then it’s, “Find The God News.” It’s right there.
It’s funny you say that because when I had done the original design, I had it so it was nebulous or you could read it both ways, but I had decided to take it out because, from a designer perspective, it almost felt like it looked like I made a mistake. There are some messages inside of that title and it does intersect with the story that I just told. Ultimately, what I realized through this whole journey was that I’ve been given the gift to talk to people. I hear that over and over from the people on the show and in my life that they like to talk to me, not that I have anything special to offer or that I’m better or anything like that.
It’s just we all have a gift and people think I’m a good conversationalist. That’s what I hear. I thought, “If that’s what I can do is sit down with people and have conversations with them and then while we’re having that conversation, they make discoveries on their own, why not do that?” Let’s turn the dial a little bit towards goodness and make sure that that’s the point. No matter what we’re talking about, it’s like, “Let’s go in the cave. Let’s kick around inside ourselves. Let’s go drive through the storm and go back to the hotel room and have depression. If that’s what it is and let’s walk out together. You don’t have to go in there by yourself.”
That’s something that I find with a lot of people. They haven’t talked about things. Nobody’s giving them a brother’s ear. If somebody would give them a brother’s ear, talking about it is healing and good. That’s the point of the show, but to look at the branding, you would think, “This is interesting. It’s got this weird old tech ‘80s vibe to it.” I wanted that because it’s a wink to my father. He had a business when we were kids and I grew up in it. It was a positive experience. That was a good time. It was an ‘80s theme, old tech stickers, and colors. That was the vibe and it was old.
I think the branding is so over the top awesome. Every time I see anything that you’re putting out, I’m like, “I cannot believe how awesome this is.” It’s good. It takes a lot for me to fully get inspired, especially podcast covers because they can be so standard. The artistry breathes life into my heart.
I hope there’s an energy about it. To me, it’s disarming because we talk about things we’re talking about here, but I think it disarms people because they go, “Why can’t pit puts us in a category. I don’t know what we’re going to talk about.” I think this a disarming, comfortable vibe. That’s what I wanted to go for, something that could be fun.[bctt tweet=”Sometimes, the best people to run for president would never even want to run for president.” username=””]
It works and it matches you. When you interviewed me for your podcast, I was stunned and touched at the heart by our conversation. I think that you do have such a gift. I’m glad you’re doing this podcast and sharing the good news at a fricking time when the news couldn’t be worse. It’s full of so much asshole-ishness and fears out there right now.
I don’t know what that for the world. I don’t want that for my children. I don’t want it for future generations. I don’t want it for the people that have already lived. Oddly enough, that’s something I think about a lot. I was reading something by Thomas Merton and it struck me. I’ve read it a few times and I’m not going say it right, but the idea he was talking about getting up and going to pray at sunrise. He talked about the whole collection of humanity, every one of us that maybe never had that experience. That life was hunting and gathering or struggle and strife, but that all led up to him in that very moment where he stands on the horizon and sees the wonder of the sunrise and senses God. It overwhelmed him and he expressed that at that moment, he’s doing that as much for them as for himself. Throughout time, that resonates because time is not on this line. I love that. I think everything we’re doing, you, me, every little light out there, we’re not doing that for the future. It reverberates backward for all the souls. Every human being has ever walked that struggled and suffered.
I feel like it’s not just 360 degrees of healing, but 720. There’s a whole other reno. It’s like this whole experience. I want to go back to Find The Good News. That graveyard changed you. You got a little rebirth. You didn’t even know what flower smell like before that day. It sets us all. It might what I’m doing now because of the miracle. It shifted me into a whole different place in life. It took me out of the ruts. I found some news and new dirt to play in, but I also feel like there are different levels that we can play this game at.
A few years after I had that experience, there was a time where I was like, “I think I should be a solitary person.” I think that maybe that’s my goal. My mission is to be alone and not in a bad way. My mother doesn’t even know this, but I’ve told several people that my plan was to go to India and walk the country and learn from different people. That was what I wanted to do, but I didn’t do that. I got married and then my marriage broke apart and I got completely derailed and created a whole another rut. I realized, “It’s wherever I’m supposed to be.” That wasn’t the path I walked and I’m married again. I have a wonderful marriage, but I’m trying to understand that you can still live a sacred life and still do all the things that you felt like you should do and show those gifts. You’re not going to be sitting on a hill in India somewhere.
You were blowing my mind because this is exactly what happened to me. I wanted to be a monk. I wanted to take at least two years off, go to Burma and meditate, and finally do my thing. I was finally going to go do me and then I met my husband. I started having kids and then I got sidetracked. Here’s some of the information that I’ve gotten, which is a lot like what you’re saying is that the time of the man on the mountain, that was like last millennia. This time around, it’s about being amongst the people, with the people. It’s like this sense that I get that no man left behind because it’s not hard to go out there and meditate for two years and become enlightened. That’s our nature. That’s who we are already. I think the deeper path or what many of us are being called to do was to stay in the freaking world. You stay here and make this life sacred. That’s why we came here.
I was talking about this with my wife. One of the big silos for me in the past was Tibetan Buddhism, specifically. To this day, it’s still on top of mine. I always gravitate back towards a lot of that teaching and training. We were talking about the oppression of the Chinese and Tibet. We were having that whole conversation and I was recapping my whole fascination with it, how much I’ve learned from that culture, and from all that came out of it. It made me think of the Tibetan prophecy. When the iron bird flies, the children of Tibet will be spread across the Earth like ants. I think about that too now, how high value it has been in my life to have learned from all these Tibetan teachers and to be able to dive into their culture, to be able to touch things, and apply those practices to my life and their thinking.
I don’t know what I would do without the Tibetan Book of the Dead. It’s a treasure to me or A Guide to Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, the top ten books have changed my life. I wouldn’t have those things had Tibet not suffered, had Tibet not been cracked open and poured out all over the world. Many people across the world wouldn’t have had those things. I guess you’re right. That’s where I’m going with that train of thought and it connects to what you’re saying is that this time of having these isolated eggs of knowledge, those things were great. There have been many people through our history as humans that have done that and kept those things for us. Now, they’re cracked open and we have to practice out in the world.
It has to be applicable when I am using the bathroom or when I am out having a spiritual accompaniment type conversation with somebody. I can’t just feel spiritual when I’m taking a walk across a beautiful pasture. I would also have to be when I’m stuck in traffic. That’s the thing. The way I think about it is like going back to the gift when my friend and the flowers. That came to me in my regular life. It didn’t come to me when I was up on a mountain top. It’s exactly what you’re saying, but that’s the truth. It’s meant to be in the world.
We are meant to give it away as gifts and not hoard the goodness. You can’t be a hoarder. My big miracle happened in the fricking hood. It’s different.
I love that about your book. That was the first I’ve read that in your book and I went, “I’m connecting with the story.” I hadn’t shared any of that and met you or anything, but I connected with what you experienced is like, “I know what she’s talking about right here, where this happened and your whole world, your everything shifts.” What you knew five minutes before was different after that.
I wanted to talk to you a little bit because I don’t know much about The Dawn Deacon. You have this online ministry.
That’s what I call it. That’s been an evolution. I’m a huge disciple or student of Thomas Merton’s writings. I’ve told you that Christianity and Catholicism have been a path as well, but not in an official way with the church. Thomas Merton, particularly, there is something about his work that always spoke to me. It drips of truth. When I read the words of Merton, I have no resistance. I’m not analyzing it. I can see that in my own mind when I read what he writes. I’ve moved away from analyzing to contemplating. He advocated that being contemplated and contemplation as a type of prayer. One of the pieces of work that he wrote is a little line from a longer piece of work, but he says at the end, “Wisdom cries the Dawn Deacon, but we do not attend.” That looks like somebody took a hot poker and stuck it into my heart and my mind. It was imprinted all over me. I thought, “The Dawn Deacon, what a lovely turn of phrase,” because I love prayer at dawn. I love getting up and being at dawn and crying at Dawn. I’ve talked to the dead at dawn. Merton, to call it that wisdom, he’s crying out.
Researchers have identified that Merton was talking about a field hawk. He associated the field hawk as this deacon that was scraped, crying, and wakening us to come to celebrate spirit and creation at dawn. That lights me up. I took that on for my page because I started noticing that social media can be a toxic place. It can be positive and negative. I found that through my personal page, when I would have this stream of consciousness, like contemplating things I wanted to write about or share. It’s easy to disregard me and go, “That’s Oran, he has an advertising agency.” You can go, “Why is he talking about deep time? Why is he talking about layers of reality? Why is he talking about energy? Why is he talking about spirits?” They can go, “That’s Oran.” They can come to me in a different way because I’m just Oran.
I realized that if I listen to Thomas Merton and become in those moments, a little bit of an identity shift, I become the Dawn Deacon that stands out on the fence posts and says, “Rise, think and see. Look at all this stuff going on around us, look at it with new eyes,” if I could take that on a little bit. I started tweaking my communications and then adding them to that place. Usually, what you’re going to see through that signal is it keeps me focused. When I have inspiration, I put it here. It’s a way for people to connect with people and then some people do. It’s not a huge community, but there are people that I have connected with through that where they say, “This is exactly what I needed to hear.” It expresses something that’s on their heart. It helps me to not be as afraid. It takes a little bit of the fear because I can wrap myself in the robes of the deacon for a moment and put myself in that space. It’s as much for me as it is for people.
It sounds like a nice little, “I’m seeing your heart.” A bigger than the average human heart, a little flame-like, a little on fire. It licks and flames go onto that page.
I hope it becomes more, not for any selfish reasons. When you have something you want to share, you want to share it with as many people as you can.
Everything that you’re doing is seriously coming from the heart. I want to talk back slightly about the fear of you becoming egotistical in this. I have to say this part of you, I feel like that is expanding more. I feel like there’s an angel message here is all I’m saying to, “Please, don’t worry about that.” Your heart is so anchored to the Earth. It’s like you are grounded. Some people who go off in the other direction, they stay in the whole little, “Everything’s Holy.” That’s where people get cut off, but there’s such a huge invitation for you to continue to allow your heart to unfold and speak the truth around that or whatever that means for you.
It is interesting that you say that. Our first visit was like that for me. I almost think that had a lot to do with me opening up some channels and allowing things to move the way they wanted to move and working with it versus me trying to get in the way. I’m still on the way to some degree. That’s interesting what you said about the Earth. That’s always been a big component. When you said the word anchor too, it’s probably not behind me, but if you go look at some of the logos and the art for the show, there’s an anchor in almost everything. There’s a reason for that anchor but the idea of the Earth, I have this vision of an anchor that goes down through creation, all the levels from the highest unseen things that we can’t comprehend all the way down to the base of reality. It’s anchors running through it all.
I’m saying that for you, it is. I could see the anchor. It’s down there and I never used the anchor as a personal symbol.
I showed you the skull and there is an anchor right there. It’s a high symbol for me, for sure.
There’s your message from spirit. They don’t want you to worry about stuff like that. You are well-protected.
It’s good to hear. I read this and it’s in the Bible. It’s one of the passages like, “Fear is useless. What is needed is trust.” I love that mantra because I have to say it two times a week.
I’m happy to have you here. You’re such a little magical human. I needed to share your juju with my people.
I appreciate the invitation. I enjoy talking to you. We can talk at any time. This is always good for me. We talked about those allies. You got to stay close to your allies.
I know you do and so wonderful. If people want to hang out with you, where do they go?
The best place that I’ve put together is FindTheGood.news. From there, you’re going to be able to connect with the podcasts, first of all, which I hope people will. Also on that page, you’ll be able to link up with me. There’s a little link right there on the top page that says, About Brother Oran. You click that and it will take you over to some pictures of me, which I cringe when I have to post that stuff but it’s necessary. There are those things a little bit about me and some things we talked about and links to everything else.
If you connect with me on there, you can get to me on social media. I’m an open book. I usually friend about anybody back and let whatever comes in until it’s toxic. That’s my only rule if it’s toxic and I know it’s toxic, I got to trust my instincts. Most of the time, I love making new friends with people all over the world. Culture and religion are irrelevant. I don’t care about any of that stuff. I love it all, bring it all in.
I feel blessed to have connected with you. I love your story. I love what you’re doing. You’re such an inspiration.
Reflection back to you. I’ve got to give that back to you. That’s how those things work. I’m sure you link up with a lot of people and I do too, but this was a good connection for me. I’ve felt like we are truly allies and friends.
Me too. Let’s keep it going. I pulled one more card for you. Do you want to see which little birdie wants to talk to you? It’s the Robin and it says, “New growth and potential is on the horizon. Reach out and embrace it.” It is similar to the first one about the whole rebirth. You keep those juicy arms open and say, “Yes.” Thanks again, I’m sure I’ll be talking to you a lot.
Thank you. I appreciate it.
- Find The Good News
- The Dawn Deacon – Facebook
- Parker Brand Creative Services
- Tibetan Book of the Dead
- A Guide to Bodhisattva’s Way of Life
About Oran Parker
Brother Oran Parker is the producer and host of the podcast Find the Good News, a show focused on good people doing good works wherever he can find them. Oran visits with artists, educators, authors, civic and spiritual leaders, and everyday citizens that use their time, resources, and talents to bring hope and happiness to their corners of the
Oran has worked in the creative communications field for over two decades. During that time, he has insisted creativity is an actual divine force—not dissimilar from love—that can clearly be seen in the processes around us. He feels that these forces beacon us to consciously partake in the excellent work of bringing even more life, goodwill, mercy, and compassion into the world. Taking his own advice, Brother Oran decided to put his natural creative energy to work in the form of the Find the Good News podcast. Find the Good News is a creative work he hopes will encourage others to refine the signals they invite into their lives. Through the podcast, he aspires to help others connect with new allies, heal painful wounds, fertilize latent spiritual gifts, increase wisdom, understanding, and compassion, as well as encourage others to allow their inborn, natural human good to flourish.
“On August 1st, 1995, a sudden awakening experienced changed the course of my life,” says Brother Oran. “I had quickly fallen into a type of darkness that was consuming my young mind. It felt like death and nihilism—today I would call it depression. This flash of understanding illuminated everything in an instant—the grim reaper wasn’t extinguished —it was my perspective on the nature of life and death that had suddenly changed.”
“I have been on a twenty-five-year spiritual expedition inside myself in an attempt to understand what happened that August day,” Oran explains. “As a seeker, I enthusiastically consumed religious teachings and assimilated many practices into my own life. I have drenched myself in the works of philosophers, poets, scientists, sages, and aboriginal peoples—this continues today. Like many, I have experienced loss, grace, hardship, and blessings, and on the other side of these, I have come to believe awakening and union to divinity is the end state of all beings. I accept this fully. It binds us to each other and to the rest of the created universe, which can be most readily experienced right here on this planet. This is why I adopted the moniker ‘Brother.’ I am a child of Creation—we all have that lineage—and by my logic that makes me a sibling, a brother to other beings.”
As a licensed ecumenical minister, Oran practices universal spiritual accompaniment—offering a brother’s ear to fellow seekers—as well as baptism, blessing, and union ceremonies. He also officiates weddings and funerals. “Sometimes, all we need is a friend that is willing to be with us, to listen, and perhaps offer gentle, experiential guidance while we find our way,” says Oran. “I’ve offered that kind of spiritual friendship in an unofficial capacity for a very long time. As a licensed minister, I feel I can elevate the intention and the intensity of my relationships with others. I want to share the same gifts that were given to me on that August day.”
In his role as the owner and creative director of Parker Brand Creative Services—a boutique creative studio he operates with his wife in Southwest Louisiana—he continues to seek a healthy, sacred fusion between his professional skillset and spiritual gifts. The Find the Good News podcast is one of those marriages between the two, and it is Brother Oran’s attempt at doing good work. “There’s a lot of news in the world,” says Oran. “I’m going to find the good.”
You can learn more and listen to the Find the Good News podcast at www.FindTheGood.News
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