Sunday, August 24, 2008

Listening & Guidance

It occurred to me this morning--after an exciting, jam-packed, creative week--that the most profound change and deepening in my spiritual life over the last 10 year has not come about because I did more, understood more, or prayed more. It wasn't the books I read (although those certainly helped), the situations I lived (although at each place I found God right there in the midst of it), or thousands upon thousands of prayers, actions, and thoughts that went streaming to the Loving Presence I know as God. Rather, the big inner shift, the opening, the deepening, the enriching happened when all the outer striving and trying and working and acting ceased, and I began to notice a need for listening more. Just a quiet, open, gentle space, where I listened quietly and in love for whatever God would or wouldn't say to my heart. The listening became the prayer, the act, the communion, the point. It is a refreshment like nothing else, a moment of gathering in beauty in the Garden. I highly recommend it, whether you use something like the Centering Prayer (here's a great site for that) or the Jesus Prayer or the simple and beautiful Quaker method of silent worship. Take even the smallest moment and just breathe with God. There's no refreshment like it, and from that still centered spot in the core of your being, everything else begins to blossom. :)

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