Saturday, June 2, 2018
Today my activities felt balanced and harmonious, always keeping in mind the sacred nature of life. I exercised, had a good connection and conversation with one of the people I work with, meditated, mowed some lawn and relaxed by eating lunch and watching a movie. I have had some difficulty in maintaining a balance lately, either working too much or participating in too many distractions — neither felt right. "If you choose to center your life in Divine Radiance, two things can be pretty much guaranteed. One, life will not be as simple as it could be if you had chosen another way. The Spirit-centered life has little in common with ‘Business as usual.’ Two, there will never be a dull moment. You will see the colors of music, hear the songs of color and be blessed with magic people. A fair trade I'd say." (Joy Marsh)
Friday, June 1, 2018
Today during meditation I heard "you are not worthy", specifically not worthy of my connection with God, the work I do with other people and the work I do with spirits, a message from my troubled and tumultuous past. This message which was strictly within myself was accompanied by an increase in joint and back pain. Not surprisingly, at almost seventy, I am tired of dealing with my past — sigh. In my meditation I acknowledged the feelings, felt them as strongly as I could (extremely unpleasant!) and let them pass, knowing they had no validity. After a brief increase in intensity, my pain lessened. Life is good, a bit weird but good. "He should learn to remain in God’s presence with a loving attention and a tranquil intellect", even though this seems like idleness to him. Soon he will find little by little that a "divine calm and peace with a wondrous, sublime knowledge of God, enveloped in divine love, will be infused into his soul". (St. John of the cross)
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
I have encountered several statements saying that discernment (the ability to detect if received comments are of divine or other origin) is a gift from God and that most people cannot determine if a message is divine. I prayed for discernment many years ago and was granted the gift, but I know not how or why. I have likened a divine message as feeling like being bathed in a clear mountain stream. Other messages are "cloudy". The two feel very different. When I get a divine message it is usually simple and clear. If I give myself a message from intellect or ego it can be very convincing but never feels right, "Discernment is a gift from God, not as a personal achievement. The gift is not the result of training, technique, or analysis. Like other gifts of God, its origin is mysterious and gratuitous." (Patricia Loring)
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Yesterday I wrote of my own "mystical worship" or worship (meditation in my case) where I experience the presence of God, a nightly practice of mine. Such a practice is only possible because of what I call the "God seed" within me, also called "that small quiet voice". I often connect with that part of a person when I work with them as a mentor or spiritual guide. I have come to realize that everyone has that seed and potential within them. That seed requires some practice, focus and discipline to make it grow and become stronger. "The very fact that such a mighty experience [mystical worship] as this is possible means that there is some inner meeting place between the soul and God; in other words, that the divine and human, God and man, are not wholly sundered." (Rufus Jones)
Monday, May 28, 2018
Every night when I connect with the force I call God I find and bathe my spirit in absolute and unconditional love of a strength, power and purity that is well beyond anything of human origin. Somehow when there I also gain insight and guidance primarily for the coming day and sometimes beyond that. I carry that feeling and that guidance with me for the day until I connect again. I often think of this as being with Christ since he knew of and became part of that force, though I generally feel no need to personify God. During that connection I am open and honest about my thoughts, attachments and distractions which can take me away or block me from God, but I simply honor them as part of my humanity, rather than considering them as sins. I do not understand that force but have complete trust and faith in it.
Sunday, May 27, 2018
We had the meeting of the reading group I wrote of yesterday and most of the members spoke with admiration and devotion about the "looking within" of various past Quaker seekers and I spoke of my own disciplines and practices of looking within. What I notice is that many people speak or write with very genuine admiration and devotion about the practices of others and their own wish to have that same connection, but then fail to follow through with their own discipline and practices. As Gilbert Kilpack, another Quaker, wrote, "We want to be spiritually alive, but also to be comfortable; to be prayerful, but not to rise early in the morning to pray; to possess power to lead, but not to undergo the discipline that it takes to control the power." My choice of discipline had to initially be renewed pretty much daily and now comes easily and with pleasure.