The Prayer of Guidance

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Spiritual guidance is obviously a very important aspect of meditation and prayer. It is also a very misunderstood subject that requires some rethinking in our approach to the subject.

We often think of spiritual guidance as a means of navigating from where we are to a place we want to be. Quite often that “place” involves the acquisition of a material object, a position, a relationship or a new lifestyle. What is often missed in this process is the state of being we hope to achieve with our acquisition. Our thinking is that the attainment of a thing will make us feel better about ourselves.

What is keeping you from feeling better about yourself now? What is keeping you from feeling complete in this very place you stand in your life today? The answer is simple. Only your belief that you are incomplete, that you need something added to become happy or that you need to be in some other place keeps you at a distance from the very thing you seek.

The prayer for guidance involves the release of all groping for answers outside yourself, a letting go of all sense of inadequacy that can only be addressed by adding something new to yourself or your life. Spiritual guidance leads you first to your point of strength, that inner center of light and peace that pines away for nothing more than a deeper revelation of this divine connection.

What are the dreams and goals of a spiritually fulfilled being? To be sure, they are different from the dreams and goals of a spiritually unfulfilled being. When you find yourself in need of guidance, start with the idea that your first need is to open yourself to your own wholeness. Let go of the self that fears or feels inadequate. Find your inner point of strength and know that you are being guided now to act, not out of fear and weakness, but out of the power, love and intelligence of Spirit.

All spiritual guidance leads to the holy ground of the place you now stand. The fulfillment you seek is present. Seek this first and you will know what to do next.


The Prayer of Healing

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As we’ve seen so far in this series, effective prayer involves three basic actions. The first is the infilling we receive in our quiet times of meditation. The second is the releasing of mental states that do not conform to the truth we discover in our quiet time. The third is the affirmation of what is true of Spirit in specific areas of our life.

One specific area that touches all of us, though in varying degrees, is the area of healing. I want to turn to near-death studies for a moment because this research reveals a very profound piece of information. Let’s say a person is hospitalized and undergoes surgery for a serious heart condition. During the surgery the patient flat-lines and is pronounced dead. To all appearances the life of the patient, including all perceptual functions of the brain, has ceased. Yet the patient “regains” consciousness, either of their own volition or through resuscitation, and reports experiences they could not possibly have had according to the current scientific, brain-based model of consciousness.

Included in the experiences the patient reports is a condition of perfect health, so perfect, in fact, that they felt more alive than ever. What is true of this patient is true of you. In meditation you open your mind, not to a state of health and well being that you do not yet have, but to the condition of health and wholeness that you possess right now. The aches and pains of our body bring our attention away from the truth of our perpetual wholeness that is so strong death of the body does not overcome it.

Open your mind to your spiritual body. Release all doubt that it exists in its fullness right now. Affirm that this spiritual body is you and you are giving yourself permission to come forth and fully occupy the physical body you now inhabit. Do not try to force a healing, beg for it or make any bargains with God. You are this wholeness, this perfect spiritual body and you need only acknowledge it and invite it to come forth into your consciousness.

The prayer of healing is the simple acceptance of what you are.

The Power Behind Prayer

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While meditation is an infilling, the deeper realization that you are grounded in the life, love, power and intelligence that God is, prayer is your means of expressing these qualities through all the specific areas of your life. You do this through the exercise of your faculties of elimination (the power to release), faith (the power to open yourself to the new), judgment, will, and understanding.

Once you grasp the relationship between meditation and prayer you no longer see prayer as a means of getting something from God. Rather you see it as a process of releasing those mental and emotional states that are blocking your good and affirming the truth that unfolds through your quiet times.

If you have a challenge in your life that you want to address spiritually, you begin by taking your thoughts off the challenge and turning to God in meditation. When you close your eyes you’ll be tempted to think only about your challenge. With practice you will release your attachment to the negative appearance and experience an infilling of new inspiration. As you go about your day and the challenge presents itself to you, you release the negative energy you have invested in the challenge and allow yourself to experience it in a new and different way. You can speak words such as, “I now release the energy of this negative appearance. There is nothing to fear.” This is the denial or releasing side of prayer. You then follow up with statements that are true of your spiritual nature. “That which is in me is greater than that which is of the world. I am fearless. I am filled with the understanding of what I am to do and how I am to do it.”

Effective prayer asks nothing of God. You pray with the assumption that God has already given you all you need to meet the challenge at hand. Sometimes you are called to act and other times you are called to be still and know the Creative Life Force that is God is working through you in ways that allow your light to shine in beautiful ways. The power behind prayer is your understanding of your inseparable oneness with God, your unfailing source.

No Natural Barriers

Question: In your writings you say there are no natural barriers between God and the individual soul. Isn’t spiritual ignorance an example of a natural barrier? Would you mind commenting on this?

Response: Spiritual ignorance is indeed a barrier between God and the individual soul. Is it a natural barrier? No. Spiritual ignorance is a learned barrier.

Spiritual ignorance, first of all, should be thought of as spiritual ignore-ance. Let’s contrast this with spiritual stupidity, which implies a lack of intelligence. Ignoring something is not a sign of lacking intelligence. Some very intelligent people ignore the entire question of the soul’s relationship to God.

To say there are no natural barriers between God and the individual soul is like saying, there is no natural law of error in the principle of mathematics. Yes, you can wrongfully conclude that 2+2=5, but the barrier between you and the correct answer of 2+2=4 is not found in the law of mathematics. You are confronted with the barrier of your own miscalculation. And because the error is not a natural occurrence, it can be corrected.

Believing there is distance between yourself and God does not make it so. It only makes it appear to be so to you. You can resolve this false sense of separation by acknowledging (stop ignoring) your oneness with God. The belief in separation is a perceptual problem that can be corrected with direct experience. Within every person there is a place that opens to all there is in God. Until we actually come to this place, God belongs to others. God comes to us in the form of a belief that has been hammered out by someone else. It’s not our God. It’s their God. So this barrier of false belief is there, but it is not natural. It is leaned, and it will be unlearned, not through argument but through direct experience.

I do not own beach property, so when I stand on a beach, it’s someone else’s beach. In essence, I’m looking at someone else’s ocean. But what if I buy the beach upon which I stand? Then it is my beach. It becomes my ocean. The spiritual awakening is about buying the beach. Not with money, but with attention. We stop ignoring the truth that our very soul opens to all there is in this ocean of God. What stands between you and your own inner beach? Many distractions, yes, but no natural barriers. The only thing that stands between you and God is your unwillingness to claim your beach. The belief that you’re not spiritually evolved enough to do so is an unnatural barrier.

The religious authorities of Jesus’ day despised him because he disrupted their long held narrative that there were genuine barriers between God and the common people. They convinced people that their professional services were needed to get to God. To say the kingdom of God was found within the individual, as Jesus taught, destroyed this myth.

I continue to point out that we each desire the experience of greater freedom because at the soul level we are already free. What is keeping me from experiencing this freedom? Perceptions of my own creation. These are barriers but they are not natural barriers. They are learned and they can be unlearned.

Whether I am willing to do the work of unlearning is the real question. The man who discovered the treasure in the field joyously sold all he had to buy that field. Am I willing to do the same? My buried treasure is that inner prompting to greater freedom. Am I prepared to sell all the unnatural barriers of false perception that keep me from experiencing this inner call that never has been and never will be silenced? Do I place greater value these unnatural barriers than I do on the real treasure of freedom?

Thank you for your question. I hope this response brings some clarity.

Meditation and Prayer

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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

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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 “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.