contemplative monk : breathe

Sustainable Spirituality

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Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time ~ Tony Schwartz 

There are a number components to maintaining a sustainable spirituality but they all hinge on one point. Since spirituality is the creative force within us, our essence, and who we really are, our true self, I would like us to look at our spirituality as creativity for a fresh viewpoint.

There is an ebb and flow to creativity. We always show up. It’s a daily practice, but everything begins with rest. Without rest, we have little to no energy and flow.

In the flow of creativity as in all things spiritual, there is an embracing and a release like the gripping and the opening of our hand. So it is with all life. There is a release so that things can be proven, seasoned, and integrated as we rest. There are ebb times daily where we savor and rest. All restoration and creativity begin in the stillness of rest.

Then it’s like dominoes falling as we are swept up in the flow. The creativity energy flows and we are in the zone.

But we can’t cheat the restorative energy of rest. Our devices and our 24/7 western lifestyle will kill you by degrees. There’s a price to be paid for burning the candle at both ends and cheating ourselves of rest. Take control of your devices.

Restoration has to do with the creative power and the presence of God in our lives and God ordains rest. It’s written in the skies, and in our Circadian rhythm. Every sunrise begins in the darkness of night.

So fall in love with sleep again. Give yourself permission and establish boundaries. Exhaustive spiritual practices serve no one. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water, unclutter your springs of life, simplify, and practice your spirit daily. Take joy!

 


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Like Dancing With Diamonds

Spires- Mount Rainier, Washington

The Trinity is like three living diamonds reflecting the fire of each other’s heart in the dance of living glory, and we are invited in.

We are created in the image and likeness of God being revived, renewed, and restored by God.

We are reborn, born from above through Christ in us. Only God can restore God within us and bring the ‘likeness’ to life.

Spiritual life is about the release, the transformation, and the integration of the eternal life of God within us.

Here’s the deal: Do we know who we are?

We are vessels of light and life, springs of everliving water.

Spiritual life is not about seeking union with God.

Our spiritual life begins in union with God.

Spiritual life is working this union out in all directions. It is growing and integrating eternal life.

You see, in Jesus, we receive the eternal, abundant, wholeness, the everliving life of God. Like a glowing seed in the garden of our hearts, we grow Gods eternal life that changes everything, even our very DNA. We radiate the unconditional love of God.

Our spirituality is abiding: connected to the spiritual and allowing it to transform our temporal life into eternal life.

Our spirituality begins in God and not in ourselves.

We are receivers, we are springs that flow, we are vessels that shine, we are salt that seasons, we are the love and peace and joy of God in this world. We are broken vessels of light being healed and transformed from glory to glory.

It’s as we allow God to wake up our slumbering spirit and remove the scales from our eyes, to see the eternal within and without us. To allow the glory of God to shine through us. For it is in Christ we are God’s own sons and daughters, children of light and life. Everliving waters flow through our souls. Our bodies are temples of God. Our eyes are windows to the eternal. We carry the presence of God within us to the whole world. We are Christ’s hands and feet, heart and voice to help wake up others as we awaken to Jesus, to Our Father and to the Holy Spirit. We are conduits of the grace and mercy of God

God’s presence is all around us, but do we see it?

The kingdom, the atmosphere of God is within and without you. You carry the atmosphere of God. You bring heaven on earth. You carry and pulsate and bring alive the very electrical charge of eternity that resonates within all creation. You dance with heaven. In Christ, you begin the healing of heaven and earth. All creation groans and has been waiting for you to become who you really are.

Can you see the immensity of it?

We are born anew in Jesus, our Lord, our Master, our Teacher, and our Brother, who’s Bride we are and in Christ we embrace the whole universe and all time.

The life we bear begins to heal and connects us into the flow of eternal life, into the choreography of God as we dance with Our Father, and dance with Jesus our Lord, and dance with the Holy Spirit, in oneness and in wholeness, and in life.

This dance of love, and joy, and peace, and patience, and kindness, and goodness, and faithfulness, and gentleness, and self-control…spilling out into the world as a river of life and light.

The image you hold in these words, can cause you to dive into, and drink deep, and live, and burn with the fire of eternity in Jesus. Because God is love.


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Why You Need A Spiritual Practice

 

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We’ve all had those moments when everything comes together into that one perfect flowing moment of time.

Maybe while we’re running, gazing at the ocean, into our lover’s eyes, up into the night sky, or dancing in the flow of worship…where everything seems to expand, or better yet, we seem to expand, feeling larger in the vastness around us.

What If?

What would happen if we could have more of these moments, expand them, or set ourselves up for more and more of these breakthroughs, where everything is perfect and whole, the way it’s meant to be.

This is why you need a spiritual practice. This is what a spiritual practice is about.

Spiritual Practice ~ Practice Your Spirit

Intellectual engagement is soul-centered and it’s not enough.

We have to all learn how to enter into the flow, the dance, and the presence of God. It’s not a given with coming to Jesus.

In meditation, we move from our body and our soul into our spirit. We don’t leave our body or our soul, but we become spirit-centered.

When our consciousness is spirit-centered, it’s called contemplation, expanded awareness, or mindfulness. 

This is the purpose of a spiritual practice in our devotional life, to get us out of our heads into God’s head.

Here’s Why

As God is Spirit, so the mind of Christ is spiritual, and God’s Spirit creates and grows love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control within the garden of our heart and soul. We work out what God has worked within us.

As the Last Adam is a life-giving spirit, so are we in Christ. Which is why Jesus tells us to abide in the Vine, so that we will have the spiritual life flow to grow this fruit.

The spiritual life-flow of God’s life is so crucial, Jesus tells us that “apart from me, you can do nothing.” ~ Selah

Jesus goes so far as to tell Martha, before he raised Lazarus from the dead “…the one who believes in Me will live, even though they die. But everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this?”

Jesus is talking about eternal life here and now…the flowing of eternal spiritual life of God within us.

Living eternal life is what a good solid spiritual practice is about.

Do you currently have a spiritual practice? Let me encourage you to start one.

What you savor is what you will retain and grow.


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The Dance

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Mystic roots don’t meet in the middle, they hold the ends together, which ignites the fireworks.  ~ Leonard Sweet

To enter the divine dance of the Trinity.

Each deeper, each complimentary, and each unable to exist without the other. As everything begins in God, so everything completes in God on a progressively higher level of living conscious life. So we enter into the choreography of God. Like a divine dance we follow Our Father and then Jesus and then the Holy Spirit and we find ourselves at home and whole, there in the flow of eternal life.

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be lived. ~ Soren Kierkegaard

We are created in the image and likeness of God as trinity:

We have been created for this union with God. Jesus prepared the way and he invites us in, so we invite him in, and join the dance. We have been invited to a feast we cannot repay, so that we might live the reality of the love of God.

The trinity of God’s design is all around us if we but have eyes to see. We are meant to experience the flow of life in all three levels of our consciousness.

The dance is in the energy of  protons, neutrons, and electrons, the very fabric of the universe.

Can we not see it? Dare we?

Let us join in the dance and enter the choreography of God.

 


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Contemplation in Three States of Consciousness

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First, let’s lay a little groundwork.

Contemplation is a way of savoring life in the state of wholeness.

It includes the linear distinction of particulars, but it does not dwell there. Contemplation causes us to dwell within the wholeness of wisdom. And the fruit of contemplation is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; which is the fruit of the Spirit.

Contemplation is the inner working of the spirit that causes us to dwell with God. Our perspective is an eternal perspective expressing itself within our time-space continuum.

So we have the language for our interior life, such as in no other time or culture in history. As a friend of mine held up his Bible while preaching one Sunday, “I love this book, but if this is all that God has to tell us, He doesn’t have much to say.” My friend wasn’t discounting Scripture, but he was pointing to the fact that every discipline we develop reveals more and more of the impossible depth and glory of God, like the slowly unfolding of a rose.

So with this in mind, let’s take a look at the contemplative concept of: ‘abiding in the vine,’ through the lens of our three states of consciousness. Like the unfolding of a rose, we are looking at a process, not doctrine.

Jesus tells us to abide in him

The first level of consciousness sees only itself and ignores everything else.

The second level of consciousness includes the first level, is baffled, and dismisses the third.

The third level of consciousness includes all three levels in a synthesis of application which is Wisdom herself.

Yes, this is a gross simplification of very complex things. Life is fluid and is impossible to pin down. So I mean it as the beginning of a conversation of things I’ve noticed, that we need to talk about.

Like:

* The Trinity is an icon created by a Russian painter Andrei Rublev in the 15th century.

 


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