Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 265

This is the daily exploration for Wednesday, September 21, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF HEAVENLINESS

+ This is the first post on the way of Prayer as we continue to explore Heavenliness through the lens of the 12 styles of the Mandala Spiritual Paths process created by Edward Bastian.  There are 3 more Mandala styles to explore after this: Reason, Relationships and Wisdom. After that, we move on to the 9 Attributes of Heaven.

+ The Prayer naturally seeks wisdom, guidance, help, strength, healing or forgiveness from a sacred being or divine source whose capabilities supersede those of ordinary human beings.

·         Do you receive a special peace and tranquility when you pray?
·         Do you feel that prayer is an essential part of spiritual practice?
·         Do you have a daily prayer for help, guidance or protection from a higher power?
·         Do you believe that there are transcendent beings that can hear your prayers and help you?

WHY DO WE PRAY? Many of us turn to prayer when we need help with a problem so grave, a situation so complex, an emergency so dire, a relationship so painful, an illness so severe, a pain so excruciating, that we simply cannot solve it ourselves and there is nowhere else to turn. Prayer activates an aspect of our consciousness that is different than our normal desires, wishes or hopes, for it engages the whole of our being. We put our whole selves into prayer—all of our energy, and our total focus. We mobilize a force within us that has the capacity to communicate with the transcendent dimension.

+ I am particularly fond of the Prayer attributed to Saint Francis:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

This, I believe, is prayer at its best for it emphasizes service, compassion, reconciliation, unity, cooperation and, most of all, peace.  Peace is beyond understanding.  In contemplation, meditation and prayer we can find a peace which is different than any peace the world offers.  To find this peace, detachment and humility are essential.  We can live up to the ideals of this wonderful prayer only by “letting go and letting God.” This requires practice, practice, practice and, then, more practice.  Practice throughout life.  Never stop practicing.  The goal is unceasing prayer.  We are connected to our full heavenly reality as we dwell in unceasing praying with its amazing joy  and peace.  


+ The 7 steps of InterSpiritual Meditation by Edward Bastian are listed in SE21 and SE213. They are described fully in his book, InterSpiritual Meditation

+ To get inspired and illuminated by Ed Bastian, I invite you to set aside some time for these videos:  Seven Steps of InterSpiritual Meditation (11 minutes) | 15 minute introduction to InterSpiritual Meditation and the Mandala Process | 2 hour lecture & conversation

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Heavenliness page.  Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Heavenliness” or “Love” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.


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