| ABUNDANCE | JOY | WISDOM |
| BEAUTY | LOVE | TRUTH |
| PEACE | JUSTICE | FREEDOM |

... are the nine attributes of heaven
which we experience and enjoy
as we embrace our fantastic journey,
the ...

On our way to attaining our true identity as a heavenly being we move through these 4 stages of spiritual practice:

STAGE ONE: THE JOURNEY OF THE MIND STAGE TWO: THE JOURNEY OF THE HEART STAGE THREE: THE JOURNEY OF THE BODY STAGE FOUR: THE JOURNEY OF THE SOUL
STILLNESS SILENCE SOLITUDE SIMPLICITY
DETACHMENT DISCERNMENT DEVOTION DELIGHT
HUMILITY HEALING HOLINESS HEAVENLINESS

Here are the links to the 16 Spiritual Explorations Posts on the practice of DEVOTION

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I OFFER MESSAGES FOR THE TREK OFTEN (as of September 2002) IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE AND EQUIP US AS WE CONTINUE TO BUILD A GLOBAL VILLAGE SOLIDLY BASED ON LOVE.

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Open up a new window and read the daily scripture selections of the lectionary as translated in the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version).  Scriptures for the Day of the Lord and other holy days are also included.

Open up a new window & go to a website offering great resources on centering prayer, LECTIO DIVINA, and contemplation.

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DEVOTION

A daily practice of prayer and meditation and contemplation is essential for awakening. Devotion means staying with it even when the going gets rough. And it does. And it will. But if you have tasted the bliss of stillness, silence and solitude, then you know that continued effort to practice, practice, practice is worth it.

Bliss will always be fleeting unless you devote yourself to becoming your Real Self which is something like being the Real Universe. Yes, Real You, Real Universe. When the walls come tumbling down you know who you really are: heavenly, fantastic, wonderful, compassionate, just, peaceful, content, satisfied, connected.

Authentic devotional practice causes us to deal honestly with our vocation, our call. Anodea Judith suggests that "... It may begin as a restless dissatisfaction with your daily life, or a deep depression. It may result from a churning in your gut over the daily news, or an inspiring story told to you by a friend. It may come from a tragic loss, or an unexpected boon. But however the call finds its way into your private chambers, it changes the course of your life." -- Anodea Judith in Awakening the Global Heart

We need to be transformed. We need to change. Devotion has the power to make us new. When this practice is done faithfully, with honesty and humility, "... it changes the course of your life."

Faithful devotion constantly calls us to new beginnings. Many ancient and contemporary teachers tell us this.

  • "Abba Poemen said about Abbot Pior that every single day he made a fresh beginning." -- Yushi Nomura, Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers

  • "When you think you've arrived, you realize you've come all this way just to prepare yourself to begin again." -- Sarah Ban Breathnach

    There are many paths of devotion. It is important, however, to make sure that you don't try too many paths at once. Maybe it is best to follow one path at a time. Go deep but be open to beginning again whether you begin again on the path you have been on or feel a strong call to begin going down a new path.

    You can get stuck on certain paths. You can be misguided. That's why I strongly advocate being open to the wisdom of other traditions and practices. I particularly like the 14 precepts of Thich Nhat Hanh. This is wise counsel for any one following any path. As you go through these precepts, simply substitute the name of your path for "Buddhist" whenever you come across that word ... unless you are a Buddhist of course.

    Rabbi David Cooper shows us that the devotional practices of the Sufis, a mystical branch of Islam, are a significant source of inspiration and practical guidance for this practice. He writes: "The Sufis believe that every aspect of daily life has potential as a devotional practice. Every bodily movement has its source in the divine. Everything we do, everything seen or heard, tasted or touched, can be undertaken as a devotional practice. This level of devotion brings us into a new relationship with the ongoing creation as we realize that the entire universe is dependent upon the creative energy that vitalizes each and every moment." -- David A. Cooper in Silence, Simplicity & Solitude

    Many mystics have declared that our earthly body is a provisional representation of the Soul. It is through our body that we experience life and the best way to do that is by using our body's "creative energy that vitalizes each and every moment."

    RESOURCES:

  • Spirituality & Practice offers many resources on the spiritual practice of Devotion. You can explore even more by searching for "Devotion" on their search engine. You will find 2858 items as of 2/12/21. Also, there is a Twelves Gallery of Memes on Devotion. The Body also gets a lot of attention from S&P as you can see if you search for "Body" on their search engine. You will find 4561 items as of 2/12/21.

  • Contemplative Outreach offers practical guidance on the praqctices of Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina Father Thomas Keating has brought new life to ancient practices of the church. Contemplative Outreach is dedicated to promoting these important practices.

  • The Ecumenical Lectionary is a great way to read through the Bible on a daily and/or weekly basis. Many churches all over the world use the Lectionary.

  • Daily Zen -- Zen Buddhism is closely associated with the Chinese TAO TE CHING. I have found enormous inspiration and guidance by turning to this source often.

  • A Course in Miracles I have found ACIM to be a fantastic and very challeging course developing a heavenly way of thinking beyond any ego attachment. ACIM is definitely not for everybody although a course in miracles in one form or another is a required course. Mary Ann Williamson applies many of the principles of ACIM in her books, lectures and website. For many, she makes ACIM comprehensible!

  • WahiduddinNet offers A Daily Bowl of Saki, a wonderful devotional tool on the Sufi practice of love. The January 31, 2007 bowl of saki exemplifies this wisdom. Excerpts: "The pleasures of life are blinding; it is love alone that clears the rust from the heart, the mirror of the soul." -- Hazrat Inayat Khan | "The heart of man, as the Sufis say, is a mirror. All that is reflected in this mirror is projected upon other mirrors. When man has doubt in his heart that doubt is reflected upon every heart with which he comes in contact. When he has faith that faith is reflected in every heart. Can there be a more interesting study and a greater wonder than to observe this keenly?" -- Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan.

  • Inner Frontier offers Joseph Naft on the Practice of Devotion (a new IF page as of 12/5/05).

  • Inner Frontier offers Joseph Naft on the Practice of Prayer. It begins: "Prayer is the heart of the spiritual path. When you ponder why this universe exists, you might speculate that the Creator needs beings who can pray, that in prayer a necessary exchange of energies and will flows between the created and the Creator."

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    John@abundancetrek.com

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