Prayer and spiritual awakenings

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by vivian53, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. vivian53

    vivian53 Member

    Through the collective wisdom of this message board and the members in my Al-Anon Program, I was able to expand my understanding of a Higher Power. I was able to open my mind to all expressions of God because I was released from the narrow definition of the God in my childhood church. Because of this realization I was able to come to believe, at first in just the power of the Group, and finally in the Source of Love from the awesome Power of the Universe, that is certainly a Power greater than myself.

    By talking to you good people and reading a lot of spiritual literature I have been able to accept that I am on a journey that has no time schedule nor one correct path. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I have come to have a peace and serenity in my life that I never ever thought I would. I am able to pray and keep a constant conversation going with my God. as I understand Her.

    Recently my mother moved to retirement home on the campus of a very old Catholic university in the city. It was started as a mission by Sisters from Europe. While walking along a nearby river (looking for arrowheads as usual) I saw a rock well and read the plaque attached to it. It was the source of the San Antonio River, a bottomless blue hole of an Artesian Well that has been spiritual place for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. I was so happy to have found it. because I feel in touch with The Source in the way that certain outdoor places near springs do for me. It's hard to explain, I know you know what I mean. I like to say this prayer as part of my daily mediation and it has an extra special power when I say it there:

    Oh most potent source of comfort and strength,
    which I acknowledge but cannot define,
    grant me the wisdom to let my tears flow without shame whenever they are appropriate,
    the courage to love and to express my love in words and actions,
    and the serenity that comes when I can accept reality without trying to shape it to my expectations or desires.

    much love to all of you here, I've missed you,

    [This Message was Edited on 03/09/2010]
  2. vivian53

    vivian53 Member

    Good to hear from both of you too. I know everyone has been very busy with life, it does seem to be passing so very fast lately. Jam I'm glad that your daughter is doing so well and got so much help from her AA program. I hope you have been doing good as well.

    Rainbow I have been on quite a journey lately. It has been a real game changer for me. I recently received the diagnosis of having a brain malformation (Chiari) that according to my neurosurgeon, is the cause of all my physical symptoms (FM included). The only "cure" is surgery and, being brain surgery, it is of course complicated with mixed results (about 50%, so wouldn't you know another dx of a DD that has no definitively successful treatment!).

    The reason I bring this up here, is that my being able to deal with this bad news is dramatically different than it was before I learned how to communicate with the God of my understanding. Learning to pray and meditate, and then stay quiet and LISTEN has made a huge difference. I don't feel empty or alone like I used to. I am not as afraid (I am still a little scared though) as I know I would have been in the past. I am able to turn it over because I realizehave absolutely no power over the situation.

    The big difference is that now I have a Power to turn my problems over to. I like to practice the Eleventh Step in Al-Anon that tells about seeking through prayer and meditation a closer contact with our Higher Power, and that we ask only for knowledge of His ( for me this means tapping into the knowledge of the Great Mystery and Source) will for us and the power to carry it out. It has freed me in so many ways. I am, by no means, totally adept at doing this (it has been my will for 56 years and hard to let go of the reins lol). I do interpret this Step my own way, but I know I have had just the illusion of being in control, not in reality. I can only control myself. A difficult lesson. for me.

    I would love to hear about how everyone is doing and how ya'll deal with the matter of 'who's in control'. This group has always been full of such wise teachers that have helped me so much.

    love to everyone,
  3. Doznclan3

    Doznclan3 New Member

    Just want to say ditto to what rain said!
    I'm happy for you, you sound happy. And yes, it is good to see you again.
    Love, Cynthia
  4. vivian53

    vivian53 Member

    LOL It is fine to compare me with a sponge. I like that, it described me perfectly, still does 'cause that's just how I am.

    Yes, despite all that is going on in my life (there is always something right?) I do feel happy and content with my life as it is.

    love ya'll,
  5. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    I'm so happy to hear your news about the spiritual life you've discovered. I've always wanted to go to a Holy well like the ones I've heard about in England. What a good thing that you've found this one!

    The prayer that you pray is so strong, and covers so many areas of our lives. Going to go back and read it again, and copy it. It seems like it would be a prayer that could last a lifetime.

    I remember when you first came to the board also - and you were so open, and also so persistent. I love Rainbow's image of a sponge.

    I've just found something recently that has astonished me. I've never been able to practice meditation, even though I see it's benefits clearly. And I've heard about contemplative prayer for decades, without understanding how to do it.

    Occasionally I've stumbled into that encounter with God - or he pulled me in. But not on a regular basis.

    But just last week I hit a real low - talking to God for hours - telling him how much I hated my life! I was able to let go a bit, or got bored with the ways that I've used to blunt the impact of overwhelming emotional feelings. Reading too much to cover over those feelings, etc.

    I worked so hard in therapy, and I guess that's the best I could do, as far as needing to block out a lot of painful reality - a matter of survival.

    Then I found myself bored and restless, and hit a deep painful misery about my life.

    Well, the only thought I could come up with was to turn off the news on my computer, because it was adding to my sense of the world's disasters and futility.

    Then I challenged the Holy Spirit to help me to find something to inspire me. I found some sites on inter-religious groups filled with good people, and then tried Monastery Web-sites. And found a long list of them, as they see their gift of hospitality extending to this area.

    Amazingly, I found a teacher there, Father Thomas Keating who spoke EXACTLY what I was starving for. He is a teacher of what he terms Centering Prayer, a form of contemplative prayer, that has been lost to the Western church for about a thousand years.

    Everything resonated so deeply with me, and finally made sense!!! I had passed him by before, and even had a book of his from years ago.

    But it is definitely true 'When the student is ready, the teacher will come".

    So many things that he spoke about just pierced my heart with such strong longing. Yes, this is JUST what I want, and have wanted for years. This type of contemplative prayer also detaches from the stream of thoughts, feelings, memories, etc. for this time of prayer.

    BUT, for me the all-important goal was to do this with the 'intention' of being in God's presence - sitting as still as possible, and letting God act and communicate as he chooses. I'm so blown away by this that I can't even find the words to express what it means to me.

    I'm astonished that I'm allowed to do this!!!

    Also, just barely starting to learn, I've felt such joy, and lightness. I've had energy to clear out clutter in my house, as I guess I'm letting go of clutter within.

    I remember your question on detachment - and could never figure out an answer to the sense of detachment in my spiritual life.

    So, this is a tremendous change and adventure for me. I have to say the Holy Spirit took up the challenge, and answered it so overflowingly fully.

    I am so glad for where you are in life - the realities you are experiencing. I remember you always said you wanted to find your Higher Power.

    It gives me such great joy to hear your news! I'm so glad that you came back to share it!

    Love, Judy[This Message was Edited on 03/06/2010]
  6. vivian53

    vivian53 Member

    Hi Judy,

    I guess sometimes we just have to hit a spiritual low to get to a spiritual high. It certainly happened to both of us didn't it? Yes, the Holy Spirit took up the challenge from both of us, big time. I wasn't exactly sure what I was looking for, but I knew I had to search to find it. I came here to this board, about a year ago, with no faith and no idea how to get it. I had so many great teachers, people who took the time to explain their beliefs to me from all different faiths, including none.

    I believe I was led here and to Al-Anon, by the God of my understanding, so I could learn how to communicate with Her through prayer and mediation, I also learned, that for me prayer is a way for me to learn God's will, I loved the way you put it. about having the intention to be in His presence. Yes, that's it for me too.

    So we've both learned a lot Judy. I can tell how much joy it has brought you. Yeah, I can't believe we are "allowed" to do it either. LOL And it's been there the whole time. I feel like fledgling in this whole spiritual thing, but I am growing so much and feel so much happier.

    Yes, it's quite an adventure, in fact I think we could call it a downright miracle.


    PS I am going to look up Thomas Keating right now.[This Message was Edited on 03/09/2010]