Contemplative Monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

Focusing on Presence

 

 

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Photo: Bob Holmes

Our spiritual practice nurtures our presence in this world.

We’ve all been taught to focus on the prize. But its an ‘all or nothing’ game that keeps us locked out of being. Like spirituality, it’s easy to get focused on the way, or the truth, or the life, and totally miss Jesus. We get sidetracked by all kinds of good things like heaven, or awakening, or gifts, or experiences, or credibility, or acceptance. I think that’s why Jesus took the focus off himself, and put it on God. “Why do you call me good? No one’s good except God alone.” Jesus points to the one standard of perfection beyond the ability of us all.

Jesus doesn’t point to other things except as examples. He merely says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” In Jesus we find these things in living form. Jesus always speaks from his wholeness of life and being…“I and the Father are one.” “…you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”  We can’t do Oneness alone. Our unity is experienced in the presence of God. God’s presence awakens our awareness to the wholeness and holiness we have within us. Our awareness of his Presence is what delivers and saves us from ourselves.

When we realize what God has done in us, our job, our spiritual practice, is to work out this wholeness in our lives…to practice the presence of God. Presence is the center concept here.

As disciples of Jesus, we abide in this wholeness in Christ, so we might live in this abundance of eternal life, and walk in wholeness throughout our day. The gateway into our life is our heart. And through our heart we integrate this oneness into our everyday lives. This is Jesus working through the power of the Holy Spirit, this very oneness, this presence into, and through our lives. We become the fragrance of God in our most common life.

Wake up and allow this abiding Presence, the presence of our oneness with God, to abide in you, with you, and through you.

~*~*~*~

Post Script: While Being is about abiding or dwelling,  Becoming is about the practice and disciplining that helps us to work out this eternal life into our lives. It’s about being full present, with God and with the world around us. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where the integration happens.

Quick or Slow is not the point. When we find disciplines and practices easy, it usually means, it will take longer for us to express the heart of the presence of God.

It’s like the ebb and flow of the tides. When we’re in the flow, realize that the ebb time is coming. Life is lived in our engagement and rest. Growth happens in our engagement and restoration happens in our rest. Begin your day with rest.

So when we have great difficulty with disciplines and practices, we usually develop a greater depth, and compassion, where we express deeply, the love and presence of God. Don’t waste your sorrows. They’re a time of cutting back, letting go, and sending our roots deeper into the eternal depths of God.

 Abide and Practice

Whether we are quick or slow to mature spiritually, isn’t even relevant, we are both. Our spiritual practice nurtures our presence in this world. It’s not a journey of arrival, but a journey of expanding, deepening, and richer presence.

Our spiritual practice nurtures our presence in this world with the fragrance of God.

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