How Can I Feel More Spiritual?

Spirituality-and-Healing

  1. Keep the lines of communication open between you and the Divine through prayer and/or meditation- in the mornings, evenings, before meals, and throughout the day. If in this communication you feel inspired to do something in your life, do it. The more you are in silence the more valuable information you will receive about your life.
  2. Have a morning or evening ritual, such as relaxing music and herbal tea- watch the sunrise or set and contemplate about how your life is going and where you could improve, take action or slow down. Journal if you like. 
  3. Buy less stuff and declutter your surroundings.
  4. Spend some time in nature every day. See the Divine in all things. 
  5. Go to bed early. Read something inspirational before you turn out the light. Pray or Meditate. Rise early.
  6. Don’t forget to breathe deeply. Breathe into any part of your body that needs healing. Don’t forget to take a deep breath to clarify feelings before responding. Be mindful of your actions. 
  7. Be present with others. Take an interest.
  8. Follow your intuition and promptings when it comes to service and giving. 
  9. Take care of yourself with healthy food and exercise. Yoga, hiking or outdoor running can be a spiritual form of exercise. Drink adequate water. Clean, healthy living can help us be more in tune with Spirit.
  10. Practice gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, and love. 

 

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How Can I Communicate With God?

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“One evening, out to dinner with friends, I felt profoundly depressed. At 38 years old I had stopped eating. As usual, I watched everyone eating with a hearty appetite while I sat before my plate of grated carrots pretending to savor every mouthful. In reality I was starving. I remember how utterly desperate I felt when I went to bed. I simply couldn’t go on any longer and wished I could die.

In the middle of the night, I woke up with a strange sensation, rather like a force or energy rippling like waves throughout my body. It grew ever stronger until my body was vibrating. I wasn’t frightened because the effects were warm and comforting and I no longer felt alone in my despair. It seemed someone was with me to share it. This sensation stayed with me all night, and I began to talk, expressing my innermost thoughts as if someone were listening to me. I whispered, “I don’t know who you are, but I know that you’re here and I can tell you everything.”

Shortly after, I began to breathe in a totally different way. I wasn’t frightened but, rather, curious to know what would happen next. I continued talking to the “Presence”, which had become a part of me, a faithful friend and companion ready to listen.

I talked to the Presence as a child might. When I woke up terrified by a nightmare, my friend would comfort me and I would feel the warm and gentle ripples within as if he were caressing me. The experience began my journey to discover truth.

Was it possible the presence with whom I spoke  was God? I asked it.

“Are you God, our Heavenly Father?

I felt the answer was affirmative.

“Are you sure?”

Again the reply was affirmative. I was exuberant, for God was extremely loving, simple, accessible, willing to listen, full of joy. He was nothing like the strict, severe God who judged and punished about whom I had been taught.

I heaved a sigh of relief. I had finally found Him. Yes, this was the Father I had been seeking my entire life. I gave myself up to his warm embrace, no longer doubting the identity of the mysterious Presence I had felt.

After so many years, I realize, God, You have always been with me, You have never abandoned me. I am infinitely grateful for Your Love. ”

prayer

-Interview with Patricia Williams Scalisi, edited by David Paul Doyle in When God Spoke To Me

 

How Can We Build Trust?

pabloneruda_poetofthepeople5

Illustration by Julie Paschkis from Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica

Trust that you have a good and compassionate nature.
You are part of the universe; you are made of stars.
When you look at your loved one, you see that he is also made of stars and carries eternity inside.
Looking in this way, we naturally feel reverence.

True love cannot be without trust and respect for oneself and for the other person.
[The essential mechanism for establishing this trust and respect is listening.]
To know how to love someone, we have to understand them. To understand, we need to listen.

-Thich Nhat Hanh (legendary Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, and peace activist b. October 11, 1926)

Simplicity and What is the Tao?

tao te ching
The Tao that can be understood is not the eternal, cosmic Tao,
Just as an idea that can be expressed in words is not the infinite idea.
And yet this ineffable Tao is the source of all spirit and matter;
expressing itself,
it is the mother of all created things.
Not to desire material things
is to know the freedom of spirituality;
and to desire them is to suffer the limitations of matter.
Yet these two things, matter and spirit,
so different in nature, have the same origin.
This unity is the mystery of mysteries,
and the gateway to spirituality.
Here are four fundamentals of true spirituality:
return to simplicity,
cherish purity
reduce your possessions,
diminish your wants

To know there are some things you cannot know is healthy.
Seek to attain an open mind (the summit of vacuity).

Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu
Support Authors: Sam Torode and Dwight Goddard

How Can I Find Joy?

stillness

A true spiritual teacher helps you connect with what you already know in the depth of your being. Your light within.

It is almost impossible to connect with this peace when your mind is racing or when stimuli is overpowering.

Step away into the stillness within.

Quiet your mind. Breathe. Connect with your inner life force. Feel it in your whole body, your aliveness.

Live mindfully. Notice your words, your actions. Your breath. Be a walking prayer of optimism and goodwill.

Take right actions. Serve, give, clean, work, share, write, read, run, play and love.

Spend quiet time with nature, music, art, stories, and poetry. Schedule it in. 

When your thoughts come, transport them into a brighter world. Construct them with your imagination and visualize the brightness. Make it your reality. Use whatever hopeful images or stories or perspectives elevate yourself.

How Can I Feel Spiritual?

headerphoto1If we are to experience spirituality we need to employ more than the usual empirical, conceptual, and analytical mind. We need to be in tune with our imagination, intuition, and contemplative mind. We need to focus on the spiritual, the transcendent.

Metaphors of parables or poetic thought are often more effective, because metaphors suggest rather than direct. Take for example this poem by Rumi (Barks 1995, 36)

Out beyond ideas…there is a field. I’ll meet you there. 

When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense.

Spirituality in its purest form is an inner, subjective experience. Pure, non-verbal experience of being is the spiritual field within.

Most religions contain language and practices intended to facilitate experiences of pure being and connection. Individuals often have their own unique interpretations of the tenets of their religion. Each uses the parts that speak to them.  Religion can be a sociocultural program for developing spiritually and for bringing spiritual realizations into everyday life.

Outside of religious preaching, prayer, testimonies, hymns, scripture and rituals some people find spirituality in service, relationships, touch, books, movies, music, meditation, dreams, gardening, promptings, insight, stillness, yoga, hiking, sunsets, birds, mountains, trees, unity, families, children, elderly, feasting, fasting, animals, light, water, flowers, challenges, trials, sacrifice, knowing, hard work, candles, chanting, dancing, singing, clean living, etc.

When these activities are done with a focus on spiritual experience and a shift in transcendent consciousness we can have a mystical experience.

Mystical experiences can occur during intentional practices or intentional living that can be designed to create conditions conducive to transcendent experiences.

Williams James wrote:

One may say truly, I think, that personal religious experience has its roots and center in mystical states of consciousness… Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness we call it, is but one type, while all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus, and at a touch they are there in all their completeness… No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded.  (James [1905] 2005, 313)

  • Spirituality and Aging by Atchley

How Can I Recognize The Spirit?

rainbow2Miracles heal because they deny body-identification and affirm spirit-identification. By recognizing your spirit, your perception and perspective are corrected.

Spirit is at the center of life.

Miracles are God’s intercession through the Holy Spirit to your spirit or Christ within.

The Holy Spirit is the mechanism of miracles. It separates the light from the darkness.

Miracles honor you because you are lovable. They dispel illusions about yourself and perceive the light in you. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity.

Miracles are natural signs of forgiveness. Through miracles you accept God’s forgiveness by extending it to others. Miracles are expressions of love.

A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking.

The forgiven are the means of the Atonement. Being filled with spirit, they forgive in return. Those who are released must join in releasing their brothers, for this is the plan of the Atonement.

Miracles are the way in which minds that serve the Holy Spirit unite with Christ for the salvation or release of all of God’s creations.

Spirit is in a state of grace forever.

Your reality is only spirit.

Therefore you are in a state of grace forever. 

You respond to what you perceive, and as you perceive, so shall you behave.

You should look out from the perception of your own holiness to the holiness of others..

A Course in Miracles