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Connect! – Richard’s Commentary

April 17, 2014 Leave a comment

We are all connected in so many ways. Do you ever consider just how connected we are? Thich Nhat Hahn speaks of this as interdependence. I heard him speak years ago about this concept of interconnectedness, not just with humans but with all things. It’s his way to begin to explain shunyata, or the Mahayana Buddhist philosophy of “emptiness.” We are interconnected with and interdependent on every atom and molecule on earth (and beyond)!

So as Rosemary writes:

Your life is all about connecting. You were born into a family or chosen by one. You have chosen friends and partners. You bore children or sired them. You have worked with people, paid some for services, gone to the doctor, bought groceries. Every thing you have done has contained an element of connection.

How deep does your “connecting” go?

All of these external, intricate interdependencies at the material, physical level are only a small (maybe miniscule) part of our connectedness. Rosemary urges another way to “Connect”  to the inner you:

When you connect with the inner you, you are tapping into your own power, your essence. When you have a strong connection to your inner wisdom, your guides, you gain clarity and confidence.

How vast is this connection for you? When you let your imagination run free how much ground does it cover, how many worlds do you visit?

Rosemary mentions many ways to connect to the inner you: meditation, contemplation, visualizations, writing. For those who don’t have a formal practice even daydreaming is a way to connect. Prayer is also an excellent way to connect and listen!

But how many of us resist this inner connection? How many even blot it out through various means of escape? Even in prayer it is easy to externalize the conversationmaking appeals to the Almighty out there somewhere in the Universe! Do we ever stop to listen, to keep this conversation bidirectional? When/if we do listen, where do we hear that voice?

Often people need help with this inner connection. For many indigenous peoples they relied on shamans as intercessors with the Spirit World. Western people rely on their priests and/or psychologists to facilitate the inner dialog. This is a wonderful way to begin the conversation. Sometimes we need translators to interpret the symbols. Sometimes we need validation that what we are hearing/feeling/seeing is true for us.

If you need help to jumpstart your inner connection, get it. The inner world is vast beyond belief. The inner connection, the inner dialog can take you on journeys beyond your wildest conscious imagination if you allow and listen. Your purpose calls you to this and your passion is waiting for you, just there, inside!

Have fun; have a great ride. And don’t worry about sending postcards!

What Is Your Spiritual Practice? –Richard’s Commentary

May 2, 2013 2 comments

We just got back from our local Spiritual Exploration Group here in Maryland. This is a monthly meeting of like-minded folks who we bring together to discuss spiritual topics of many colors. Our mantra is we get together for Discussion, not Dogma.

Tonight’s topic was Prayer. And we explored the many dimensions of what this means for people both as a word and as a practice. We began with our childhood remembrances of what prayer meant to us and our experience of prayer. We considered the Wikipedia definition:

Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with a deity, an object of worship, or a spiritual entity through deliberate communication.

And we discussed where we are now with prayer as a way of “connecting” to something greater than ourselves but that we find inside ourselves. We spoke of prayer as a way of generating and offering our energy for positive connection and transformation, or “lifting to a higher vibrational frequency.”

We even discussed the possible existence of “dark prayer” – negatively focused energy to counter the evolutionary path of human consciousness; and we wondered if prayer can be judged in this way if it is truly a “deliberate communication with a deity”! Is a negative prayer even a true prayer?

I bring this up because prayer is certainly a spiritual practice. For me the word sometimes has a negative impact because it is overloaded with memories of childhood when reciting the “Lord’s Prayer” seemed so rote and lifeless. As a young child required to memorize the prayer I wasn’t even clear on the meanings of the words.

Then it hit me! I, with 46-thousand of my closest friends, am tuning into Deva Premal & Miten every day to chant ancient verses from Holy Scriptures. They are offering a 21-Day Mantra Meditation Journey that began April 23. Today is Day-10. (You can sign up for this free daily practice here: Deva & Premal. And you can catch up because all of the chants they have shared so far are still posted.

So, I sit, eyes closed, each morning in a very open and loving state to chant, often Sanskrit, words I am not familiar with, over and over in a “rote-like” way. How is this so different from my childhood experience of reciting the Lord’s Prayer in a rote-like way?

OK, here’s the thing about that: I am in an altered state when I chant “Om Shanti Om” 108 times. I move into that state of true inner peace invoked by this mantra. I remember where my mind was when I “prayed” the Lord’s prayer as a kid – anywhere but on “Our  Father”! I wasn’t seeking to develop “rapport” with “Him”; but with these mantras I am seeking to develop a rapport with the energies invoked by their vibrations, their words composed of sacred syllables, the transcendent quality of the constructs and how they sound when chanted, whispered, or just thought and felt as they vibrate through my being.

One of my Spiritual Practices is to chant. I have learned a number of chants from different traditions using languages from Sanskrit to Navaho. I have been ritually initiated into several. And they all transport me to another “place” where I can transcend this physical dimension of time, space and my body and commune with Spirit. And for me this is the best form of prayer to which I can aspire.

If you are at all interested in chanting and mantra meditation as a form of prayer I invite you with all my good wishes to tune in to Deva Premal & Miten. Here’s the link again:

21-Day Mantra Meditation Journey

All blessings!

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