Contemplative Monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

It’s a New Day

 

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Photo Credit: Jeff Goins

Experiments In Spirituality

Today I begin a radical discipline regimen, an experiment in spirituality. Today everything changes.

Our disciplines are nothing more than experiments in spirituality.

The idea here, is to use our disciplines to find out what really works. What causes us to grow closer to God, and by that, to love other people. And when they work, we hone and refine them like a fine wine. When they don’t, we drop ’em like a hot potato.

The point is this: awareness is the moment change begins, and our disciplines can trigger that. Let me say it again.

Our disciplines can trigger the awareness that causes us to change.

To be aware of God’s presence is to move into a state of change. You see, all true change is from the inside out. And like the vines of a vineyard, change is grown.

The Goal is an Ever Expanding Spirituality

For me, sustainability is not the goal here, but an ever-expanding spirituality is.  I want eternity to invade my life. I want to wake up to the presence of God everywhere, every moment of every day. And isn’t that how Jesus lived? And isn’t that why he slipped away to pray?

Now, I’m not talking about an all or nothing mentality. No, far from it. I’m speaking about walking through the fire, in the ebb and flow of our lives.

Doesn’t God speak to you in your dreams? When you’re about to do something stupid, doesn’t he nudge you a bit? It’s like tuning in your radio, or learning to listen. Discernment is learned through trial and error.

The Discipline Threshold is 21 Days

Twenty-one days of practice is the threshold to incorporate any new discipline into our lives.

OK, there are a lot of good disciplines like prayer, fasting and giving, but I see a real lack of Joy everywhere I turn.

Depression is rampant, especially among western Christians. It’s epidemic.  And church as usual, doesn’t cut it. Mentoring is shallow and healing is superficial. Most people just quietly suffer.

I’ve learned through some extremely painful lessons, that until we tap into the eternal, we’re just rearranging the furniture, as our lives slowly implode. Somebody once said that unless we learn to tap in, it’s like rearranging the furniture on the Titanic.

I’ve had to relearn what religion knocked out of me, and that is, through the contemplative practice of mindfulness, we see things as they really are. We see through the illusions and our constructs to the essence of things. We see through the shadows to the reality of God, in our spirit. We come to know him in an ever-deepening way. We learn to dwell in God’s presence as a child with their father. And as our Father reveals things to us, we begin to see, and feel things, especially about ourselves that heal and transform us.  God reframes our lives.

Through prayer, we speak to and with God. In meditation we experience Him.  And that is what mindfulness is all about.

There is a co-habitation in mindfulness that is revolutionary and transformational. 

Twenty-one Days of Practicing Mindfulness

So we are setting aside this month of January, to practice the spiritual discipline of mindfulness and our focus will be on Joy.  I hope you’ll join us, and if you’re new here, please read the about pages, as that will give you a better understanding of where we’re headed.

We’re looking at 21 Days of Practice this month, with a couple of book reviews on Joy that might surprise you.

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