Moment after moment, completely devote yourself to listening to your inner voice. - Shunryu Suzuki
The concept of
spirit is quite nebulous. What is The Spirit? Some people talk about
the spirit in terms of God, Jesus, Allah, Yahweh and a colorful array of other
Gods and names for this higher power.
The name that we
call the Spirit is often highly charged with emotion. Many people
are turned off by the word God due to some religious fanaticism and others find
the word Spirit too ethereal. The early Jews struggled with this
and for a period simply talked about he who cannot be named. Of
course this phrase has been recently popularized in the Harry Potter books,
although in a contrasting sense since Voldemort is an evil character.
to the spirit can take many forms. Gerald May relates three forms in his book
The Awakened Heart. These three are that of a loving companion, a romantic relationship
and that of a cosmic presence. According to May, a relationship of loving companionship
is probably the most common. This may be the reason Christianity is so popular.
In Christianity we are taught that Jesus will continually be by our side, that
Jesus died to save us from our sins and that he will always be there to protect
us. We have the popular African-American spiritual I Want Jesus to Walk
The second relationship,
that of romance, is less common, but perhaps more intense. It is when the companionship
changes to a more intense, passionate relationship. Do not contrive anything,
but if the invitation is more to love than to safety, choose love. Let yourself
love God, other people, and God-in-other-people even if you feel unable or afraid
of being hurt; let yourself be loved by God, other people, and God-in-other-people
even if you feel unworthy or afraid of being overwhelmed.
The third relationship
is that of a cosmic presence. It is the sense of God as cosmic presence
and of love surrounding, embracing, pervading ourselves and all creation.
This is the Way, or Tao that is referred to in Taoism. We are easily
reminded of the very beginning of the Tao Teh Ching, The Tao (Way) that
can be named is not the Tao (Way).
We can think of
the spirit like a crystal lattice in which we are immersed. It is like an energy
lattice. We cannot see the lattice, but if we are open and aware we can feel
the presence of the spirit in our lives. When we pray we are merely tapping
into the energy of the lattice and resonating with the frequency of it. Much
like the movie The Matrix, we plug in and off we go.
As we work on quieting our minds and becoming more aware of our bodies, we become more open to the spirit. This is how all these concepts work together. By working on them individually they will build on each other synergistically propel you to a better place in your life.
Joel DiGirolamo, All material copyright PranaPower, LLC