Meditation and Prayer

Youtube: Meditation and Prayer

Audio: Meditation and Prayer

On the path to spiritual understanding no practice is more important in terms of spiritual transformation than the practices of meditation and prayer.”

Because the terms meditation and prayer tend to evoke different meanings, we treat them as two completely separate practices. Meditation is often thought of as the art of listening to God while prayer is thought of as the act of talking to God, usually in the form of a request. In my book I treat these practices as two halves of a single process. Meditation provides an infilling of inspiration from our inner resource and prayer is the act of directing this inspiration into specific areas of our experience.

Let’s say you have a healing challenge. In meditation you still your mind, releasing all images of yourself as incomplete. You pull your thoughts from the appearance of illness and open your mind and heart to your spiritual wholeness. This opening process is not a blind groping for something you do not have but a receptivity to your spiritual reality. Regardless of the condition of your body you are whole and complete right now. You invite this wholeness to come forth, to become part of your conscious reality.

Thus inspired, you engage in prayer by releasing all negative energy around this appearance and then directing affirmative statements to your body, particularly to the affected area. Think of meditation as an inhaling and prayer as the exhaling of divine energy, two parts to the single activity we call breathing.

The basis of this approach is the understanding that as a spiritual being you are already whole and that you are right now fully immersed in the presence of God. You don’t ask God to make you whole, you acknowledge your wholeness. You don’t ask God to act as your healer, you acknowledge that God as your source is your wholeness. You are aligning yourself with the presence and action of God in and as you.

In the following weeks we will further explore both aspects of this spiritually aligning process.

Rising From the Rut

Video: Rising From the Rut

Audio: Rising From the Rut

The feeling of being stuck in life is probably one of the most common expressions of frustration, and the likely reason Henry David Thoreau wrote this famous line: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

We like action. We like to initiate changes, see results, and go on to the next thing with the feeling that our life is progressing. Sometimes we initiate changes and nothing happens, or everything seems to go wrong. Nothing seems to work and we feel we have lost our way.

Jesus spoke some words that can serve as a very important reminder when we feel we are floundering in life. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” If you think of these words arising from your own I AM, that spiritual core of your being, you will get an idea of why they can help you at this time of uncertainty.

Think of your own I AM as the axle that holds the spinning wheel of your external life. At your center you are always at rest regardless of how fast or how slow your life seems to be moving. It is important to reconnect with this unmoving part of yourself, to withdraw for a time from all your efforts to spin the wheel and surrender to the healing love of your guiding Source.

It’s easy to get caught up in the ways and means to a desired end, forgetting that you desire the greater good because you are responding to that still small voice emanating from your central I AM. God as your source has urged you this far. Will God not also guide you through each step of the way? Perhaps it is time to rekindle your faith in your indwelling guidance, to experience the assurance that “I AM with you always.”

Surrender in trust to that all-knowing, all-loving presence of God within you. Right where you are, open yourself to knowing that every step you take is the right step, that you are now being guided and protected in ways that will soon be perfectly clear.

The Rule of Order

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Audio: The Rule of Order

Part 5 of Five Steps of The Manifestation Process

“Do calmly, without excitement, whatever the circumstance seems to require. This will lead to the further unfolding of other circumstances in the same direction. By addressing each one as it appears, you are moving step by step toward the accomplishment of your desire.”

Life is all about transformation. A seed is dropped in the ground in one form and it emerges as another. And, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).

And so it is with the manifestation process. In a very real sense, this process is about dying to one state of being so that another may come forth. As you move from where you are to where you want to be, you must release the old and take on the new.

Watching the new emerge is an exciting process. When you see evidence of your desire beginning to manifest it is easy to become overzealous in your attempt to hurry things along. External action can be addictive. Things begin to happen and you want them to continue and so you may start trying to “push the river” as someone put it. The writer of Psalms also warned against over-zealousness when he wrote, “zeal for thy house has consumed me” (Psalms 69:9).

Every step toward your desired good offers something of value, even in those times when nothing seems to be happening. Hold your vision in an attitude of expectation, enthusiasm and in the knowledge that everything is working together for you good in right and perfect order.


The “My Truth” Trap

It’s not uncommon to hear someone justify their opinion by saying, “This is my truth.” The problem is, how many “my truths” are there? Judging by our world population, there are approximately 7.6 billion. Every person alive holds a perspective of what they believe is true. Which of these should you adopt as actually being true?


Why? Because you can never enter the consciousness of another. You cannot adopt their truth as yours. For better or for worse, you’re stuck with you. So, it’s up to you to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Doing The Work

Five Steps of The Manifestation Process

Audio: Part 4: Doing the Work

Youtube: Part 4: Doing the Work

Wait until some circumstance pointing in the desired direction begins to show itself. It may be small, but it is the type and not the magnitude of the circumstance that is important. This is the first sprouting of the seed.

Chalk it up to my rural Missouri upbringing, but I really appreciate the earthy simplicity of Thomas Troward’s approach. So many writers inject the element of magic into the subject of manifestation, over-looking the fact that we have all been engaged in the manifestation process from the day we were born.

When you set a goal, you are really telling yourself to start paying attention to opportunities, even small ones, that will enable you to move closer to that goal. Creating a vision is really the practice of creating awareness in the direction you want your life to unfold. Without this awareness, opportunities can and do pass by unnoticed.

Troward is pointing to a relaxed awareness, which is very different than a frantic searching for opportunities to further the manifestation of your vision. There are, of course, times when you make things happen. You are inspired with an idea which you act upon until you bring it to a successful conclusion. There are other times when you are presented with ideas that are beyond your comfort zone. You may be tempted to rationalize your hesitancy to pursue it means it is not right for you. This could be the very portion of the manifestation process that has been standing at your door knocking. When you take action, one of two things will happen: either your initial discomfort will begin to dissolve and you’ll find new strength and inspiration, or it will become crystal clear to you that the path represented by the idea is indeed one to be abandoned.

There really are no hard and fast rules concerning the choices you make in the manifestation process. It is a fact that this process is occurring right now and you are steering it with choices you are making. Develop a keen awareness of your choices, and you will find your life unfolding in a way that is much more to your liking.




Event in Toronto

“The Complete Soul”

A 9-Week Video Seminar based on the book by J Douglas Bottorff

Fairview Mall Public Library

35 Fairview Mall Drive, Toronto, ON

Wednesday, September 5th at 7:00 p.m. 2nd floor, room 2 

Thursday, September 6th at 12:30 p.m. 4th floor, room 3

Introduction to Doug and the Seminar” 

In his mid-teens, Doug became fascinated with Unity teachings after he read Dr. Emilie Cady’s book, Lessons In Truth. Doug was and continues to be a genuine “student” of both the spiritual and scientific realms. He is a musician, minister, author and spiritual explorer. He has written several books, and in his latest book, “The Complete Soul,” Doug shares significant realizations that completely changed his spiritual understanding of who he is and what we are.

This Video Series takes a spiritual ‘student’ along the same trail that he blazed on his own personal journey.  These nine videos are beautifully illustrated with examples and metaphors that will resonate with the Truth within you.

If you have ever asked the question, “Who am I?” this Video Seminar promises to open doors inside of you in deeply meaningful ways, showing you who you really are.

Join us Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. or, Thursday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.



Learning to Love?

Recently I was listening to an interview with a woman who shared the life-changing experience of barely surviving a horrific auto accident. The interviewer asked, “What is your most important take-away from this experience?” The woman responded, “That we learn to love one another.” She said this because she had just described the experience of having momentarily left her body and found herself in an incredible, all-engulfing atmosphere of absolute, unconditional love. It was obvious from her level of passion and humility that she had truly touched a level of love that transcended her ability to describe.

What struck me about her advice of learning to love one another is the fact that she was suggesting that her audience do something she herself had not done. What do I mean by this? I mean she had not learned to love. Her experience transcended all normal learning processes. We can’t learn to love. We can learn to be kind and mindful of the needs of others, but the level of love she was describing is not a thing we do. It’s what we are. It’s an experience of the soul totally unencumbered by normal human wants and needs. A genuine exposure to love gives us a view of our life and all the people from the 30,000 foot vantage point. We don’t love people because they do something to earn it or because we’re trying to be better people. We love because we are love.

I realize this woman was trying to give back something of the gift of experience she received. She had worked out a 3-step plan of ideas that others could intellectually grasp and even implement as a technique that might bring a more loving awareness into their daily life. There are many such proposals laid out in books and lectures that are intended to do the same. But none of it really works, not at the level she was speaking from. Why? Because such techniques do not take us to the place of actual experience that transforms our entire understanding. If we’re trying to love, we’re not coming anywhere close to the experience this woman was trying to convey.

I can describe the experience of an electric shock, so vividly, perhaps, that you can almost feel it. But the actual experience transcends all descriptions. A shock is instant knowledge that bypasses the intellect. In our attempts to describe the experience we must resort to the intellect. Others can read or hear it and say, “I felt like I was shocked too.” But you’re not there unless you too grab those two bare wires.

Using electric shocks to describe the experience of love is probably not the best use of imagery. But you get the point. It’s like believing we can find God in a church or find the living Word of God reading scripture. The church may teach you about God and the scripture can inspire you to open yourself to that live-wire of Spirit that is your soul, but if you stop with the description and even the inspiration it stirs, you’ve settled for technique over actual transforming experience.

I maintain the position that we did not come here to advance our soul through learning how to do things like being more loving. Trying to love is a distraction, as it assumes we, as spiritual beings, are incomplete and must learn things that will complete us. Remembering who and what we are is not the same thing as learning what someone suggests is right for us. The closer you get to a pure experience of your soul, the more you will feel as if you have come home. You and I already have what we’re looking for. We have it because we are it.

Of course we want to be more loving. But we find we are most loving when we are most free. When Jesus said the truth will make you free, I believe he was saying when you know the truth of who you are at the spiritual level, you find the freedom you long for. You’ve come home. You no longer try to be more loving. You love because you can’t help yourself.