Thursday, January 18, 2018

Living the Adventure

This past week, with the help of a couple of friends who are also part of my spiritual support group, I discerned a new vision statement for myself – I am open to the adventure that calls me to my highest potential.

During a workshop with Rev. Aliza Bloom Robinson this past Sunday, my statement took on new life energy and has evolved. It is now – I am living the adventure that calls forth my highest potential. I like that it is now stated in the present and that it speaks to calling forth, from within me, my highest potential. It is much more active and energizing.

When I shared my statement with a congregant and friend, she asked, “Is the statement just for you?” My immediate response was, “Yes, I am choosing for it to be my guiding vision statement.” 

However, her question stuck with me. I decided to take the question within and ask my Inner Knower if, indeed, the statement is just for me.

The answer I received was, “Yes, it is for you, and No, it is not just for you. You are to invite and welcome others into this adventure with you.”



I interpreted that to mean that this is to be, not only mine, but also the theme for Unity Spiritual Center Denver for 2018.

In numerology, 2018 reduces to an ‘11’ (2 + 0 + 1 + 8 = 11). In numerology the number 11 is a Master Number – ‘Master’ meaning it is of intense/high vibrational frequency and works within the ethereal, magical and transcendental realms of creation. Master numbers possess great potential for learning and growth, and can bring major transformations in your life. ¹

You may not believe in the science of numerology. I am not suggesting that you must. I am, however, suggesting that we embrace 2018 as the year that we commit to living our mastery. As I have said in earlier posts and in previous lessons, we are all Spiritual Masters, awakening to our mastery and mastering our mastery. Now is the time for us to live the adventure that calls forth the Master within.

I am open to inspiration from Spirit for how this adventure unfolds and how I, and we, can step into and participate in it. I invite you to vision with me.

Are you ready for a new adventure in Spirit?

Are you eager to embrace the Master within?

Are you excited about living your highest potential?

If so, welcome.

Some of the paths for exploring this adventure that have come to me are-

Adventures in Wholeness
Adventures in Prosperity
Adventures in Faith
Adventures in Love
Adventures in Courage
Adventures in Compassion
Adventures in Peace and Nonviolence

I want to hear from you. Please take time to go within, connect with your Inner Knower, and share with me your inspired path of adventure.

I look forward to sharing this adventure with all of you.

Please join us on Sunday for our 10:00 service as we begin our adventure with my lesson, “Navigating the Mind Field.” I will explore what we mean when we use the word ‘mind’ and share some ideas about how we can stay alert as we access and move through the energy field of ‘mind.’


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Three Phases of mind

In my lesson this past Sunday at Unity Spiritual Center Denver, which you may listen to here, I said that the only power our minds have is the power to align us with the Spirit of God – the One Power that truly exists. I encouraged that we not get too caught up in the idea that we have the power to affect change in our lives through the power of mind. Instead, I stressed the need to turn all our cares and concerns over to the indwelling Power and Presence of God and allow It to do Its perfect work in us and through us.

Following the service, a friend and congregant came to me and asked for more clarity in reference to some things I said. If I interpreted correctly, his questions were, in effect, “How do we use our minds in conjunction with the Power and Presence of God? What about free will? He commented that what I said seemed to go against Unity's foundational teaching.

While I can understand that what I said may seem to contradict one of Unity’s primary tenets which states: We create our experience through our way of thinking. However, when we look more closely I believe we will see that what I said is in alignment with that principle. I was attempting to bring more clarity to it when I said that the power of mind is in aligning with God indwelling as our consciousness.

I am always grateful when someone questions what I say because it invites me to enter more deeply into the question and listen for the voice of wisdom within. As I asked and listened, I recalled one of my favorite lessons from Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore. In the book, Keep a True Lent, he expounds on the three phases of mind – conscious, subconscious and superconscious. He explains the importance and true function of each and how they all work together.



It is helpful to me in understanding the real “power of mind.” I hope it is helpful for you, as well. Quotes from Mr. Fillmore are in italics.

We are all well acquainted with the conscious mind. Through its use we establish our relations with the outer realm and recognize our individual entities.

This is the phase of mind we typically refer to when we speak of the power of mind.

The subconscious mind is the vast, silent realm that lies back of the conscious mind and between it and the superconscious.

I’m not sure that phases of mind have locations, but I guess the visual image can be helpful to understanding.

To one who does not understand its nature and its office, it is the "great gulf fixed" between his present state and the attainment of his highest desire, his good.

This is an important piece of wisdom. Reading further, we see that only when the subconscious is regenerated by the superconscious are we able to live our highest desires.

The subconscious may be called the sensitive plate of mind. Its true office is to receive impressions from the superconscious [A state of consciousness based on true ideas, on an understanding and realization of spiritual Truth ¹] and to reproduce them upon the canvas of the conscious mind.

Man, however, having lost the consciousness of the indwelling Father as an ever present reality, has reversed the process and impresses the subconscious from the conscious mind. In this way the [subconscious] is made to register impressions of both good and evil, according to the thought held in conscious mind at the time the impression is made.

And since it is the purpose and the nature of the subconscious mind to reproduce, or to throw upon the screen of the conscious, the exact impression that it has received, the conscious mind is thus made to express two sets of opposing ideas. No enduring structure can be built by one who is "a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."

Please listen to my lesson, specifically the part about FEAR. It can be used as an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. As humans, we look at the effect, the world of form, and use it as evidence to support a false belief. Or, we develop B.S. (belief systems) based upon our misperception of the world we observe. These are then impressed upon the subconscious, which receives them, and reproduces them upon the conscious mind. The conscious mind then projects them onto the world and the cycle continues, unless we make a conscious decision to intervene.

Man must go back to his Source and let its clear light flood his whole being with Truth. He must lay aside forever the idea of serving two masters and must look to the one Master, even Christ, the spiritual consciousness within.

The superconscious mind is ever ready to pour forth the divine blessing, quick to respond to the call of the conscious, which it meets on the middle ground of the subconscious.

The superconscious mind lifts up, or regenerates, both the subconscious and the conscious, transforming them into the true image and likeness of God. The conscious mind must be faithful during this transformation. It must look ever to the superconscious for all direction and instruction. It can of itself do nothing with assurance, because the Spirit of wisdom rests in the superconscious.

This is the crux of my lesson from Sunday. If we are to live our highest potential, it is imperative that we allow the Christ Mind – Superconsciousness – to be the focus of our conscious mind. When we allow the Christ Mind to source our thinking, we surrender to the Power of God that is living as us. It is the only power that is REAL. It is Radiant Eternal Abundant Life (again, please listen to my lesson).

The Superconsciousness reaches to the depths of the subconscious and sets free the energies bound in error thought; that having been done, man can easily reach and mold the subconscious, in harmony with divine ideas. The regeneration of the subconscious is not the work of the conscious, but of the superconscious mind acting in harmony with the conscious.

When we seek the Superconsciousness and make conscious connection with it we harmonize all the forces of mind and body; we lift up the subconscious until a complete, conscious unification of the three phases of mind is affected and we become established "in singleness of . . . heart." We fear nothing, for we know that we draw on the divine ideas in God Mind and that they all are good.

As Mr. Fillmore states, and as I said on Sunday, it is not the conscious mind that does the work. The master teacher, Jesus, said, “It is not I, but the Father within that does the work.” It is the same principle for you and me. However, that does not negate the power of our free will in making a conscious decision to connect with Superconsciousness and allow It to do the work of regenerating the subconscious and restoring us to the consciousness of unity in the One Power and Presence that does the work in us, as us.

The power of the conscious mind is the power to consciously connect with the One Mind – Superconsciousness – and to be diligent in staying focus on the Divine Ideas available in that connection.

We make those conscious choices and connect with Superconsciousness through prayer, meditation, contemplation, or any activity that opens us to the experience of Higher Consciousness.

I invite you to join me for an hour of conscious connection. I offer two weekly sessions of guided meditation, visualization and intuitive insights. These sessions are offered via teleconference and video conference on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. MST and Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. MST. If you would like more information on how to participate, please email me at david@davidhoward.com.

As always, I invite you to join us for our service on Sunday at 10:00 as we welcome special guest speaker Rev. Aliza Bloom Robinson. Rev. Aliza will present a lesson entitled Learning the Dance of Ease. She will also facilitate a workshop from 12:00 to 2:30 based on her best-selling book, Falling Into Ease. Learn more about Aliza by visiting her website – DivineAwakening.org. Register for the workshop – HERE.



Thursday, January 4, 2018

I Release. I Let Go. I Let God.

During my meditation this morning, I found myself singing the chorus of the Rickie Byars Beckwith song, “I Release and I Let Go.” It is a popular song in Unity and other New Thought spiritual centers. The lyrics to the chorus are,
I release and I let go
I let the Spirit run my life
And my heart is open wide
Yes I’m only here for God
No more struggle, no more strife
With my faith I see the light
I am free in the Spirit
Yes, I’m only here for God
I have sung this song countless times over the past twenty-plus years. I even know the lyrics by heart. And, today the words arose from my heart, and I felt them more deeply than ever before.
I believe these words are Spirit’s response to my asking, “What is mine to do in 2018?” So, I am choosing this as my mantra and my intention for this year (and beyond).
I fully realize that to live this intention I must continually affirm and know that I am only here for God and make choices, moment-by-moment, to let go of all struggle and strife; keep my heart open wide; ignite my power of faith; and surrender to Spirit.
If you resonate with this message, I invite you to join me. Use the following statements to align your mind and heart to the energy of this intention.
I am only here to be the highest expression of God that I can be in any given moment. I am only here to embody the unconditional Love of God, behold all through the eyes of Love, and express that Love for all creation, including myself. I commit to keep my heart and mind focused on the God of my being, to love God with all my heart, mind and spirit, and to love others as myself (Matthew 22: 37 – 39)
I let go of the struggle and strife that comes from believing that I have to do it, whatever “it” is. I stand with my brother and teacher, Jesus, and proclaim, “The words that I speak (and the works that I do) are not my own. Rather, it is the Father in me who is doing the work” John 14:10. I choose to release the idea of a “self” separate and apart from God, for this belief is the beginning of all suffering.
I breathe deeply into the area of my spiritual heart, which is just behind and to the right of my physical heart. I consciously open. I open to allow the flow of Divine Love. I am a channel for Infinite Love and Light as I open to welcome the awareness that all people are and all creation is the Living Light of God. I choose moment-by-moment to keep my heart open wide. I am a vessel for receiving and giving to the world all that God is as me.
I focus my attention on the area at the center of my head and ignite the blue light of Faith which is my power to perceive the activity of God in and through all circumstances. Faith is also my power to behold, with conviction and joyous anticipation, the fulfillment of my deepest desire, which is to know myself as I am known in the Mind of God. With my power of Faith, I see the true Light and Life of God living itself through all that was and is and is yet to be.
I surrender to the indwelling Spirit in all things. I realize that the spirit of Life and Love, in whose image I am made, is the Intelligence, Presence and Power that sourced all creation, holds it all in perfect harmony and order and responds to my every thought and feeling with precision. I surrender now to a power greater than I have up till now believed myself to be. I reclaim the power of Spirit working in, through and as me to do its perfect will. Again, I stand with the master teacher, Jesus, when I say, “Not my will, but thy will be done” (Luke 22:42). I surrender the will of the ego-identified self, and reclaim that the will of Spirit is my will.
Stating each of the forgoing declarations is an empowering step toward living the intention. Making these declarations aligns us with the energy inherent in them. It is a beginning. It is not sufficient to make these declarations only once, no matter how emphatically we do so. It is imperative for us to continue to align ourselves.
I have printed these statements and posted them on the wall just above my computer screen so that I can look up, see them, and read them aloud multiple times each day. They will serve as a constant reminder of my stated intention. I encourage you to do something similar.
I also encourage us all to make the commitment to staying aware of when we slip into old patterns of worry, struggle or strife. Commit to noticing when we are trying to take control, and instead make the conscious decision to release and let go. Trust and know that the Spirit of God indwelling is doing its work in its time.
Proclaim unabashedly and with conviction, “I am Free in the Spirit. I am only here for God.” And, so it is!
Join us on Sunday at 10:00 as we explore further how we can “Release, Let Go, and Let God.”


Thursday, December 28, 2017

What's It For?

It’s that time again. Yes, it’s time to say goodbye to 2017 and welcome 2018. It’s the time of year when many of us look back on the year that has just past and make resolutions for the year ahead.

Merriam-Webster defines ‘resolution’ as “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” In music terminology, a resolution is a progression of a dissonant chord to a consonant chord; dissonance is considered to be unstable as compared to the stability of a consonant chord.

As you review 2017 and look toward a new year, is there a situation in your life that you will make a firm decision to change in 2018? Do you plan to make what seems dissonant and unstable in your life more harmonious and stable?

When I think of resolutions I have made in the past, I recall things like losing weight, quitting smoking (I did quit in 1999), finding a new job, making more money, saving more money, etc. I may have resolved at the turn of the calendar to do those things, but rarely did I remember them by the time spring came around.

I now recognize that all of those resolutions were simply means to an end, most often an end that I was not consciously aware of. The things that I resolved to do, or to change were merely strategies to achieve something much deeper and more meaningful.

I have come to realize that it is essential, when making resolutions or setting intentions, to consciously connect with the deeper desire we hope to fulfill by making those changes in our lives. It is important to ask ourselves, “Why?” Why do I want a to lose weight? Why do I want to make changes in my diet or lifestyle? Why do I want a new job?

A Course In Miracles says, “The first thing to consider, very simply is “What do I want to come of this? What is it for?” 


It’s important to consider the bigger picture. My resolutions to lose weight or quit smoking may have been my response to a deep desire for physical well-being. My desire for freedom may have been reflected in the resolutions to have more money, either by making more or committing more to savings.

When we recognize the bigger picture, we have a greater perspective from which to measure our success, and we begin to recognize a wider spectrum of possible strategies. There are many other means to achieving freedom than accumulating more money (which often doesn’t bring about that result at all). Quitting smoking and losing weight are not the only paths to physical well-being; however, most would agree, observing the science we now know, that these choices will most likely be beneficial.

Knowing the greater intention gives us a barometer by which to gauge every commitment to action we make. Once the deeper desire is clear, another question we can ask ourselves is, “How does this assist me in fulfilling my desire?”

There is nothing magical about turning the page on a calendar, or more likely swiping the screen on our mobile device, but there is something powerful about honoring our desires and making resolutions to fulfill those desires. It is not necessary to choose each strategy at the outset. It is more beneficial to observe and assess whether each strategy we choose along the way is helping or hindering the realization of our deeper desires.

I invite you to join us on Sunday, December 31, at our 10:00 AM service as we take the opportunity to release what no longer serves us, and embrace that which helps us bring more harmony, love, peace and well-being into our lives. We will have our “Burning Bowl” ceremony during the service.

Happy, Health, Joyous, Prosperous New Year!


A SPECIAL OFFER FOR YOU


I have a Special Holiday Offer for you.

Subscribe to my email list by January 1, 2018 and receive a FREE download of my book, In This Moment - Prayers From the Well of Awareness. 

From the cover -

In This Moment: Prayers from the Well of Awareness is a key to a vibrant world of prayer, one sought and experienced by mystics throughout the ages and still revolutionary and transforming today. As these prayers lead you into the sacred space within, each cell in your body will resonate, "Yes, I'm home!"

You will find no beseeching here, no longing for a faraway God, or even a God buried somewhere deep inside you. "These are not words spoken to", author David Howard explains, "but words spoken of Presence."

Are you ready to discover the Divine as Presence - your Presence? Open this volume of prayers and discover that you are what you are seeking.


I am excited about the inspirations I have received for what is in store for 2018. I would love to share them with you as they unfold.

I will be making available to you special content on my website including weekly posts, podcasts, music and more.

Please go to my website, DavidHoward.com to subscribe so that you won't miss a thing.

Love and blessings,
David

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A SPECIAL OFFER FOR YOU

I have a Special Holiday Offer for you. 

Subscribe to my email list by January 1, 2018 and receive a FREE download of my book,
In This Moment - Prayers From the Well of Awareness.


From the cover -

In This Moment: Prayers from the Well of Awareness is a key to a vibrant world of prayer, one sought and experienced by mystics throughout the ages and still revolutionary and transforming today. As these prayers lead you into the sacred space within, each cell in your body will resonate, "Yes, I'm home!"

You will find no beseeching here, no longing for a faraway God, or even a God buried somewhere deep inside you. "These are not words spoken to", author David Howard explains, "but words spoken of Presence."

Are you ready to discover the Divine as Presence - your Presence? Open this volume of prayers and discover that you are what you are seeking.

I am excited about the inspirations I have received for what is in store for 2018. I would love to share them with you as they unfold.

I will be making available to you special content on my website including weekly posts, podcasts, music and more. 

Please go to my website, DavidHoward.com to subscribe so that you won't miss a thing. 

Love and blessings,
David

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Season of Light

This is the season of light. The celebration of light is an ancient one. For centuries, cultures have heralded the coming of Winter Solstice as the return of light, when the sun’s rays once again bless the earth and days grow longer.

In the Jewish tradition, Hanukkah, also known as the festival of lights, celebrates the miracle of light that burned in the temple for eight days despite the appearance that there was only enough oil to burn for one day.

Christmas, too, is a celebration of light. In fact, early Christians chose to observe the birth of Jesus at this time of year because of the ancient observance of Solstice. Jesus is often called “the Light of the world,” and his birth is celebrated by the traditional Christian church as the return of spiritual light to a world that was “lost in darkness.”

In Unity we observe Christmas, not only as the birthday of Jesus, the master teacher and way-shower, but also as a celebration of light as represented by the awakening of the Christ as each of us. The Christ is, as the writer of the gospel of John says, “The light that enlightens every [one].” John 1:9

We often use the word ‘Christ’ assuming that we share a common understanding of its meaning. However, it seems that while we may have a notion of ‘Christ’, the term is still somewhat nebulous. In the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary (MBD), Unity co-founder, Charles Fillmore offers an expansive explanation of “Christ.” The following is a short excerpt.

“Christ is the only begotten Son of God or the one complete idea of perfect man in Divine Mind. [Christ] is the embodiment of all divine ideas, such as intelligence, life, love, substance, and strength. In the architect's mind there may be one masterpiece, but that masterpiece is the sum of all the beautiful ideas that have come to his mind. This Christ, or perfect-man idea existing eternally in Divine Mind, is the true, spiritual, higher self of every individual. Each of us has within him the Christ, just as Jesus had, and we must look within to recognize and realize our sonship, our divine origin and birth, even as He did. By continually unifying ourselves with the Highest by our thoughts and words, we too shall become sons of God, manifest.”

Mr. Fillmore uses the term “Divine Mind” as a synonym for “God.” He taught that Divine Mind is replete with Divine Ideas only and that the ultimate purpose of humanity is to bring those Divine Ideas into manifestation through the power of thoughts and words which are born from the revelation and realization of the Christ. Divine Ideas in Divine Mind are the equivalent of what we might refer to as the thoughts in God’s mind. Understanding this, it follows that since Christ is the Divine Idea for humanity in Divine Mind, then it is the equivalent of God’s thought that expresses the perfection of humankind.




Each of us is, in truth, the Christ, and we are endowed with the full potential to embody the realization and demonstration of this thought. As beings created in the image and likeness of Divine Mind, we are one with it and have access to all Divine Ideas; therefore, we need only to open our hearts and minds through prayer, contemplation and meditation, and invite the awareness of the Christ-thought to enlighten us.

A Course in Miracles reads, “[Christ] is the Thought which still abides within the Mind that is [Its] Source. [Christ] has not left [Its] holy home, nor lost the innocence in which [It] was created. [Christ] abides unchanged forever in the Mind of God. Your mind is part of [Christ’s] and [Christ’s] a part of yours. [Christ] is the part in which God’s answer lies.”

The Christ is not a vague concept or unknowable ideal to which we are to aspire; it is an idea to which we have complete access every moment of every day. Christ is the place in our consciousness where the Mind of God is revealed as our mind. When we open to the infusion of this Christ-idea, the full meaning will be revealed and we will begin to realize the impact of this “enlightenment.”

As we consciously invite the awareness of the Christ-idea, we will begin to embody and live from the Christ-idea. As Mr. Fillmore said, we will manifest the Christ by “continually unifying ourselves” with it.

Mr. Fillmore continues his explanation of ‘Christ’ in the MBD by offering us a tool for revealing the Christ to ourselves, “Spiritual perception reveals to us that we are not persons, but factors in the cosmic mind. Reveal yourself to yourself by affirming, "I am the Christ, son of the living God."  Another way of stating this is that each of us is a thought in Divine Mind and that we are each a unique manifestation of the one thought or idea which we refer to as ‘Christ.’ 

Let us allow Christmas, this season of light, to be a time in which we celebrate the Christ that is each of us. As we awaken to ourselves as Christ, we are enlightened, and we demonstrate the Christ en masse. Celebrate the Christ you are.

Join us on Sunday, Christmas Eve, as we celebrate the season of light. At our 10:00 service, we will explore some of the symbols of Christmas that help to remind us of our Christ Light. Our Christmas Eve Candle Lighting service at 7:00 p.m. will celebrate the Twelve Powers of humankind as twelve living lights - always expressing, always unfolding - within us, as us.

Merry Christmas!

SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFER - Subscribe to my email list by January 1, 2018 and receive a FREE download of my book, In This Moment - Prayers from the Well of Awareness. 

I am excited about what is coming for 2018, and I want to be able to share it with you as it unfolds. Joyous blessings!


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Thursday, December 14, 2017

How Do I Love Thee?

Recently, a friend who I had not connected with for more than a year reached out to me by text message. I was glad to hear from her. She has been a trusted and supporting friend for years. In her text she said that she had been going through a challenging time and asked if we could speak by phone. Through a series of texts, we arranged a time for us to talk.

During our call, we enjoyed a heart-full reconnection. I was happy to hear that she is well, but learned that she had just come through a difficult time after ending a long-term relationship. Near the end of our call, she said something that caused me to pause. She said, “I reached out to you because I know you love God as much as I do.”

It may seem strange for me as a minister to be taken aback by her comment, yet I was. Honestly, I was surprised that she used those words to describe me.

To love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength¹ is the greatest commandment according to our master teacher and way-shower, Jesus, so it is certainly something one should aspire to, but I had not thought of myself in that light. Also, because of my perception of God, I don’t often think in terms of “loving God.”

In my way of thinking, God is not a being, but is the ground of all Being. God is no thing, yet is the Life that imbues All. God is Light. God is Wisdom. God is not someone or something to love, but is Love itself. Therefore, I questioned, “How do I love God? How do I love Love?” I decided to contemplate it.



What follows are some ideas that came to me in response to my contemplation.


“To love” implies devotion of time, energy and attention. We devote time, energy and attention to God through prayer, meditation, contemplation, presence, and giving time, talent and energy in service to others and the world.

Prayer opens the mind and connects us with God Mind. Prayer is a practice of intentionally redirecting attention from the effects in the outer manifest world to the cause in the inner spiritual world. It is a conscious activity that moves us from the usual focus on the third dimensional realm to the fourth dimensional realm which Jesus called “The Kingdom of Heaven“ or as Unity cofounder, Charles Fillmore preferred, “the Kingdom of the heavens.”

Charles Fillmore, in The Revealing Word says,

Fourth dimension - A transcendent realm that Jesus called the "kingdom of the heavens." Here one can discern the trend of spiritual forces and see with the spiritual vision of the Christ Mind.

The fourth dimension (which embraces and encompasses the other three dimensions) is also realization, the doing away with time and space and all conditions. The human mind, with its limited reasoning faculties, is bound by time, space, and conditions and can get no farther into the spiritual than reason will take it, but when we go beyond reason into the realm of realization, then we have attained the consciousness of pure being, the fourth-dimension mind.

Charles Fillmore also stated in Keep a True Lent,

Mind is the great meeting ground between God and humankind, and it is only through the most highly accelerated mind action, as in prayer, that we consciously make union.

We love God as we devote time to our prayer practice.

We love God as we meditate and open to the inflow of inspiration. Meditation, going into the Silence, slows the mental activity and provides a space into which Divine Ideas flow.

In his book, Christian Healing, Charles Fillmore said,

A daily haft hour of meditation will open up the mind to a consciousness of the inner One and will reveal many things that are hidden from the natural man.

We love God as we focus time and attention in contemplation, such as the one discussed here. Contemplation helps us move beyond our normal way of thinking, let go of our preconceived ideas about what things mean and how things should be, and open to higher knowing and understanding. Contemplating on Divine Ideas and spiritual teaching helps to activate the powers of Wisdom and Understanding and allows us to see ourselves and the world from a different perspective.

We love God as we open and invite the physical awareness of God, by whatever name we call it - Life Energy, Chi, Holy Spirit, or Shekinah – to name a few. Heart-focused breathing, a practice promoted by HeartMath Institute helps to bring awareness into the body. The practice involves focusing attention in the heart while breathing more deeply than normal. It helps to connect, through the breath, with the Life of God that is breathing us. Practices, such as yoga, Tai Chi, Tai Chi Gung, and others, also help to connect us with the breath and bring focused attention to the Life Energy that is God moving in and through all creation. These practices, when engaged in consciously and intentionally, are ways to love God through our devoted attention.

We also love God by being present and aware of the activity of God in and through all creation. When we take time to stop and witness the beauty of nature, listen to the song of the birds, sit beside a rushing stream, walk on the beach, gaze in awe at the night sky or simply delight in the taste of strawberry, we are loving God.

Most importantly, we love God through witnessing, appreciating and serving God in others. This is one aspect of Jesus’ second greatest commandment. We love the God in others when we devote time and space to listen deeply with them and share empathic connections. We love the God in others when we show compassion and kindness. We love the God in others when we give from our hearts to help them meet their needs, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. We love the God in others through the gift of our presence.

In addition, and certainly not to be forgotten, we love God by loving ourselves. We love God by speaking words of kindness and support to ourselves every day. We love God as us by taking care of our bodies, getting rest, eating nourishing foods, drinking water. We love God as us by acknowledging our gifts and talents and giving them authentic expression. We love God as us by receiving from others, whether it be words of praise and gratitude, gifts of their time and presence, or even gifts of a material nature. We love God as us as we recognize and realize the expression of the Christ that we are. We love God as us as we let the Christ Light shine in all we say and do.

Borrowing from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I ask, “Oh God, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Yes, I do love God. I love God in many different ways, in the formed and the unformed. I love God as the Life living in all, as all. Could I love God more completely and fully? Yes!

So, my contemplation continues and I invite you to join me. Count the ways that you love God, and then ask yourself, “How can I love God more?” I am eager to hear your insights.

Join us this Sunday, December 17, as we observe the third Sunday of Advent. We will explore how Mary and Joseph can teach how the power of Love can give birth to the Christ in the world.


¹ Matthew 12: 30 - 31