contemplative monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

A Pslam of Life

O Lord, I greet you this day

O Joy of my heart, come away

Come walk with me in the cool of the day

To drink deep of the well-springs of life

Flowing through

In your presence O my God

 

Dwelling in Jesus

I am filled with the fragrance of Life

Dancing in the resurrection fires of your Spirit

 

Restore my life, O Lord

That I might flow

And bear your restoring fragrance

The presence of Jesus

Bearing witness in my body

To you gift of eternal life

In the sweet refrain:

 

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden,

and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,

for I am gentle and humble in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy

and my burden is light.” ~ Jesus

 

Photo: Michael Breitung

 


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Burning One’s

 Walking With Wisdom ~ Burning One’s

Do We Really Know Who We Are?

At a time like this, I feel like I’m caught between two worlds. Maybe you do too.

Conservatives call me a Liberal. Liberals call me a Conservative. In Theology, as well as Politics, I am neither far-Right nor far-Left. I’m neither looney Left nor blood-sucking Right. But if I’m honest, I’m a little of both, and more…we include and transcend them in Jesus.

Yes, I’m saying that being in Jesus, having the mind of Christ, is a higher consciousness, God’s perspective through our eyes.

Being in the middle, between it all with Jesus is the burning spot. Everything is on fire, being proven and purified. It is the prophetic point of vision and eternal life. It is the living place of both and…

Jesus never sided with the far right, nor the far left of his day, (the Pharisees, nor the Sadducees).
Jesus stood with the poor, the outcasts, and the sinners in the fires of life.

Jesus healed,
calling out to the broken,
the losers,
and the downtrodden,
calling to anyone with ears to hear,
to Himself,
into the Creator’s fire of transformation,
to be reborn in the fires of eternal life.
He still does,
and so do we
who are in Him.
We are the burning one’s
Burning with the creative,
eternal fire of God
Burning,
not consumed,
effervescent,
sparkling with eternal life.
Beings of light,
Born of the Father of lights.

Do We Really Know Who We Are?

 


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Tending The Threshold ~ A Breath Prayer: Jes-us

 

A Breath Prayer: Jes-us

Light a candle, play some soft music, say a meaningful prayer, a Psalm like the 23rd, or whatever you do to enter devotion.
The monastics call this entering the cave of our heart. The Franciscan’s pray with their head lower than their heart to remind themselves that it’s heart first in approaching God.

A breath prayer is simply a way to drop our linear mind, to enter our spirit through our breath.
Take three deep breaths and slowly center yourself in your heart.

As breath is spirit,
Breathe in this moment…
Let the stillness soak into your being.
Breathe in forgiveness, and breathe out your release.
Breathe in faith, and breathe out thanksgiving.
Breathe in silently saying ‘Jes’, and breathe out silently saying ‘us’.
Enter into your rest prepared for you,
In Christ’s finished work.
Close your eyes or let them rest gently focused a few feet in front of you, as you breathe naturally.

Breathe… embracing belonging, releasing gratitude,
Focusing on the presence of Jesus.
Letting go and letting God,
Like a trust fall into the arms of God
Allowing yourself to feel well, and whole in these eternal arms.
Beloved
Feeling joy in God’s presence.
Free from suffering and harm,
Free and whole.

Take your time, savor, and soak in the presence of God.

~*~*~*~

 

 


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Meditation As A Spiritual Practice Part 1

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“Meditation rather than an escape is engaging life at its deepest level.”
~ Bob Holmes a Daily Contemplation

Meditation Is Native To Us

We might need to clear up some confusion around the meaning of meditation as there are Hebrew, Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi, Taoist, and even scientific definitions of meditation. On top of this, there are hundreds of various of named and unnamed meditation practices. This is because meditation is native to all human beings.  And because it is native to all of us, meditation stripped of any religious connotation is a morally neutral practice.

Meditation stripped of any religious connotation is a morally neutral spiritual practice.  (Click to Tweet)

Listen. The hunter in a treestand or the person fly fishing, the wood worker, or the gardener can be in a meditative flow state. Heck, you can meditate washing the dishes. Brother Lawerence did.

Hillsong, Bethel, and IHOP use music as a meditative flow state to help open others up to their own spirit in worship.

Meditation is any spiritual practice that shifts us out of our everyday dualistic awareness into our unitive, or whole awareness. (Click to Tweet)

Our awareness shifts from seeing things as ‘either or’, into seeing things unified, or as whole. We see the whole landscape and not just the trees. Our binary awareness normally doesn’t totally drop away, but it does become subordinate to our whole awareness.

Much like a car, meditation gets you from one state to another, but it’s your own spirit that determines the direction and the destination you travel in. (Tweet This)

Let me say it another way:

Meditation is the process of shifting from our soul’s dualistic awareness into our spirit’s unitive awareness.  (Tweet This)

And another way

Meditation is the process of shifting from our old, fallen, broken, dysfunctional, false self, to our new, whole, true self.

It’s dying to our old self so we might live out of our new self in Christ.    

Let’s Look At David

In David’s song, the 23 Psalm, he’s giving us a window into how meditation works.

 The Lord is my shepherd

I shall not want

he makes me lie down in green pastures

he leads me beside the still waters

he restores my soul

Let’s briefly look at this with contemplative eyes.

The Lord is my shepherd reveals a lot of things, but with regards to meditation, it means we are drawn and directed by God, not driven. We are drawn. We declare that the Lord is in charge Shepherding us. God has initiated it and we are following God’s lead. Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

I shall not want reveals that we are intentional in our seeking nothing. We intentionally empty ourselves out. This is our dying to our old self.  This is our letting go, a trust fall into the hands of God. Expecting nothing, trusting all.

He makes me lie down in green pastures reveals that God gives us rest, even when we don’t seek it. He brings us to a place of fertile, beauty, nourishment and rest.

He leads me beside the still waters reveals that the good shepherd leads us beside the flowing stillness…a place of peace. Water is an image of the living, flowing Spirit of God, we drink from and enter into.

He restores my soul reveals that as we’ve soaked in the stillness of life, that the healing and restoration of our old, broken, fallen soul come from God, the Holy Spirit restoring through our spirit, every disconnect and broken flow of God’s life within us. (ie the process of meditation and contemplation)

~*~*~*~

We as Christians experience meditation as a doorway from our body and soul into our spirit that allows Jesus to welcome us into the presence and into the dance of worship in the Trinity of God, which will always remain a wonderful mystery beyond us, even as we’ve tasted and entered in.

Types of Meditation

I’ve noticed two basic types of meditation: Meditations of Flow and Meditations of Being.

Again, Meditation is any practice we use to engage our spirit.

It can be as simple as taking a breath or as complicated as praying the Daily Office seven times a day.

Morning Devotions

Many of us shift into our spirit the moment we sit down for our morning devotions and take a breath.

Muscle memory is our ally here. And because meditation is native to us, it’s not complicated or religious. It is our intentional focus…the gaze of our heart.

Having close to sixty years of experience with all kinds of shapes, colors and varieties of meditation, I’ve noticed that what works for each of us is totally unique, and the form will morph and change with time.

 Every sense we have can be used as a vehicle to enter our spirit, such as deep thought in Lectio Divina, breath meditation, or the smell of flowers on a warm evening.

 

Photo by: Deviant Art


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Book of The Month Review: Spiritual Discipline Handbook

What is your one word for the year?

Mine is Worship. I’m taking this year to look at my worship: the forms and the substance.

Choosing a word for the year to focus on is a spiritual practice, much like a silent mantra that draws us

Why worship?

Because

We become what we worship because we worship with our spirit.

In worship, we face God in his radiant glory and are transformed from glory to glory.

Spiritual disciplines are tools for worship, ways we practice our spirit.

In worship, we are transformed from the inside out. 

Here’s  the best, all in one book of spiritual disciplines I’ve found. Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun lists seventy-five distinct spiritual disciplines that probably cover every personality type.

Here’s The Scoop On Spiritual Disciplines

When most of us, when we think of spiritual disciplines, we think of prayer, devotionals, Bible reading, or worship. But in fact, because of our God-given creativity, the list is ever expanding. For instance, Cross-Fit has become a spiritual discipline for many Christians in America.

Spiritual Disciplines are ways we sweep the threshold. Ways we clear away the debris, set our focus, and shift, so we can engage our spirit. 

Spiritual disciplines are practices or ways we set up our spirit for:

  1. Inner Transformation
  2. Encounter with God
  3. And External Integration in our lives, family, and community.

Here’s a great book with great reviews and endorsement that will enrich your spiritual life.

 

 


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