| 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



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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.

I WROTE THESE GOOD NEWS AMBASSADOR GUIDELINES IN 1986 AND HAVE BEEN GUIDED BY THEM EVER SINCE.  I INVITE YOU TO CONSIDER THEM.

Open up a new window and read the BIBLE.

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.

OPEN UP A NEW WINDOW WITH THE WEBSITE OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (USA)

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THIS WILL OPEN A NEW WINDOW WITH A DAILY SOURCE OF ZEN WISDOM.

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We are creating THE NEW FAITH FOR THE NEW EARTH.


SOLITUDE

+ "You do not need to do anything; you do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You do not even need to listen; just wait. You do not even need to wait; just become still, quiet and solitary and the world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet." -- Franz Kafka

+ Solitude does not mean withdrawal from community. Instead, solitude is the practice which makes community thrive. We are not robots thoughtlessly doing what society demands. We are spiritual beings charged with transforming society into the most holy, glorious, fantastic realm of abundance, joy, wisdom, beauty, love, truth, peace, justice and freedom. Getting awayfrom the demands of society allows one to figure out how to participate in the very just and life-giving demands of God. Society can be very demanding. Get away from all those demands from time to time and discover your true self. Get connected to God intimately. Solitude miraculously opens the door to heaven. WOW!

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RESOURCES FOR THIS IMPORTANT SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

  • Spirituality & Practice offers a book review of Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton.

  • Spirituality & Practice offers a book review of The Wonders of Solitude edited by Dale Salwak.

  • Spirituality & Practice offers a book review of Learning to Love: Exploring Solitude and Freedom, Vol. 6, 1966-1967 by Thomas Merton (edited by Christine M. Bochen). Here's an excerpt: "Love and solitude are the one ground of true maturity and freedom. Solitude that is just solitude and nothing else (i.e. excludes everything else but solitude) is worthless. True solitude embraces everything, for it is the fullness of love that rejects nothing and no one, is open to All in All."

  • "The life of peace begins anew each morning. We take a breath, awaken, and receive the gift of life, the gift of the present moment. The great spiritual traditions urge us to take time each day to center ourselves in the spirit of peace. If we dare enter the solitude of peace, we will rediscover who we are, each one of us a beloved, precious child of the God of peace." -- John Dear

  • Metanoia offers "Contemplative Spiritual Formation: Going Deeper" by Gerald May. Excerpt: "Solitude is another kind of freedom freedom from the host of habitual restraints and compulsions of social interaction. Times of solitude, however brief, allow a certain freedom from concerns about how others see us, freedom to be more fully who we are with God alone. In times of solitude, our prayer can be more openly authentic: peaceful and silent or raging and screaming, sad and plaintive or dancing and exuberant whatever is really honest and natural at the time. Like silence, solitude allows us to perceive more clearly and respond more fully, to be ourselves as we are with God as God is." | Read the article

  • An important book on this important practice is Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life by Henri Nouwen.

  • Hermitary offers "Solitude in Sufi Tradition." 

    Excerpt 1: "The use of solitude as discipline and means may have channeled deep individual and cultural expressions into daily life. Sufism as mysticism was devotional in a way paralleling Hindu Bhakti, but strictly regulated by Muslim and Quranic tradition. Yet who can doubt that the magnificent poetry of Sufi tradition so rich in mystical symbolism, sensual imagery, and Dionysian expression, was not itself a devotional expression that elevated Sufi practice as praise and extroversion, contrasted to the introversion of Western and Far Eastern solitude and silence."

    Excerpt 2: "Solitude in the crowd becomes the face of the self going about daily life. Constant consciousness of God in every circumstance preserves a disengagement from the world without disrupting the functions of society, which in turn are supposed to be based on Islamic ethics. The Quran identifies those who successfully practice 'solitude in the crowd' as those 'whom neither business nor profit distracts from the recollection of God' (24:37). Attributed to the Prophet Muhammad is a saying of himself (and as a model to others) that he has 'two sides: one faces my Creator and one faces creation.'"
  • Ignation Spirituality: Set The World Ablaze is a blog offered by John Predmore, S.J. On April 14, he offered "Spirituality: Silence and Solitude." Here it is:
  • Silence and solitude are the marks of spiritual maturity. They lead to peace and bliss. The spiritual life is an inner life and cannot be attained on the outside. The spiritual life is its own reward and seeks nothing beyond itself. Once we achieve inner peace and conscious contact, we want to overflow. This is the mark of truth and love to move toward goodness and transcendence.

    The ancient philosophers called goodness, truth, beauty and love the transcendental properties of Being.

  • "The best and sweetest flowers in paradise, God gives to his people when they are on their knees in the closet. Prayer, if not the very gate of heaven, is the key to let us into its holiness and joys." -- Thomas Brooks (found at http://www.quotationpark.com/topics/devotion.html)
  • Hermitary offers recommendations from Evagrius Ponticus on this practice. Warning: If you take these recommendations seriously, you will have to change your life a lot if you are anything like me or most of us very privileged netizens.

  • The Orthodox Church of America offers "On Silence and Stillness" by the Very Rev. John Breck and "Witnesses to Silence and Stillness" by the Very Rev. John Breck and "The Gift of Silence" by the Very Rev. John Breck and "On Silence and Solitude" by the Very Rev. John Breck.

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    John@abundancetrek.com

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