Using Spirituality for Change

6801036620_398b9357de_zAs we shift our feelings and thoughts to positive from negative, we become aware of the power that we feel inside. We are becoming aware of our soul. The soul is bigger that just our mind. It includes our dreams, our feelings as well as our thoughts.

I don’t think that we can try to attain the awakening of our soul in any other way than by choosing to put ourselves in the presence of the God of our understanding. Many centuries ago, a wonderful monk lived and wrote Practice in the Presence of God.

He taught me, centuries later, that all I had to do was practice presenting myself to my God. I didn’t have to do anything else but put myself in a place where the God of my understanding could communicate with me.

Prayer is when I communicate with my God and meditation is the practice of listening to God. Although I have tried many times to maintain the principles of meditation to my life, I have never been able to do meditation in the recommended ways.

Instead I set aside time several times a day to “check in” with Him. When I present myself to God for His answers, I come in a spirit of peace and quiet. I rarely “hear” anything. Instead I sense directions or guidances from Him. If my direction is God’s will for my life, the going will be easy. If I am trying to force something to happen, I will become stressed about it.

The difficulty is in getting out of God’s way. If I think that I know exactly the direction of God’s guidance, I have learned that it is probably my ego answering me. Another way that I use to understand God’s direction is to not do anything to force the outcome. I do the footwork and leave the outcome to Him. This is especially hard when all that maybe needed is a phone call.

If I don’t receive some kind of guidance, I realize that the answer may not be no, but rather may be later. This letting go releases great energy and feelings of belonging. “Let go and let God.”

How do you know that someone–regardless of age–is spiritual? Certainly not because they say they are. The best evaluation is to see the fruits of the Spirit manifested by them. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, kindness, self-control, patience, faithfulness, goodness, longsuffering and gentleness as listed in Galatians 5:22-23.

Wikipedia identifies mindfulness as “the practice whereby a person is intentionally aware of his or her thoughts and actions in the present moment, non-judgmentally”. Although my faith is based in Jesus Christ, I am thankful that He has given me the gift of openness to explore and implement practices from other faiths.

“When you have understood your own suffering, your own loneliness, you feel lighter and you can listen to the suffering of the other person. Your suffering carries within itself the suffering of your ancestors, of the world, of society. Interbeing means that my suffering is in your suffering, and your suffering is in my suffering. That is why, when I have understood my suffering, it is easier for me to understand your suffering. When you understand someone’s suffering, that is a great gift that you can offer to him or to her. The other person feels for the first time that she is understood. To offer understanding means to offer love. And understanding another person is not possible without understanding self. Home-building begins with yourself. Your partner too builds a home within, and then you can call her your home, and she can call you her home.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Photo credit.

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