Still Seeking Spirituality

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by vivian53, May 24, 2009.

  1. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    I just wanted to post that I am not giving up on finding my Higher Power. I have progressed on my spiritual path through meditation and prayer. and through reading here about all the different ways people here practice their faith, and of course, those that don't have any. It's all good.

    I know that right now it is ok for me to have my HP as the Good in the universe. There is Good here on this board that is much larger than myself, there is Good in my Al-Anon family too.

    I love the book I am reading, 'Finger Prints of God, The Search for the Science of Spirituality'.

    It is written my Barbara Bradley Hagerty. She has been a reporter for NPR for many years and I have always enjoyed her stories. I am sure many of you here know of her too. (Hi gap)

    It is insightful for me to read about other peoples search for a Higher Power. She has written about some amazing conversions. She herself is on a journey.

    I am still seeking and open. I am working on a new way of thinking and understanding. I am interested in how our faith and spirituality effects us emotionally and physically.

    I am so interested in religious experiences of others. It gives me hope. I want to turn my life over to a HP. I see how much it helps other people and what joy they have in their lives because of their faith.

    I can't give up. What else am I going to do but keep on keeping on? I now have hope about my spirituality when before I had none.

    How has your faith effected your life emotionally? How about physically?

    I am always so full of questions and am so glad you folks here don't seem to mind that.

    Any how if any one wants to share I would like to hear what you have to say.

    Hugs and prayers being sent out to all of you here

    vivian


    [This Message was Edited on 05/24/2009]
  2. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    I have a strong belief in God. I and in the opinion that I can have God in my life without the need to visit a church (I have yet to find a religion that fits me). I carry God around with me where ever I go.

    I would like to find a church that has the same beliefs as me. For an example, I just can't believe that God has so many rules that he makes it impossible to follow them all. When I feel that I have done wrong, I ask for forgiveness. It should be that simple...

    I was wondering if I should attend a Lutheran or many Methodist church, I don't know anything about the beliefs that they have.

    I will finish later...my mom is here:)
    Deb


    I'm back...and I can tell I was ramblin', lol! I guess what I am trying to say is spiritually and faith can me what you make of it...IMHO:)

    A church is a building...I carry God around in my heart.

    Which has reminded me I have a question to post!!

    Blessings,
    Deb

    [This Message was Edited on 05/24/2009]
  3. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I posted this before, but I'll post it again.

    In all our lives we will experience bad times, sometimes trauma and life becomes very hard. Pain can also be a tough taskmaster. I had become permanently disabled, then had terrible trauma, and was having such a terrible time digging out. I kept praying and the darkness kept getting worse. I then did something very stupid as I no longer cared about myself.

    I believe that God did an intervention. He knew I was at a fork in the road and he had to intervene to guide me in the right direction. Some people pray to win the lottery, to win that mansion and such and I always don't want to burden him with my wants and needs, so I always thank him for the blessings from him that I have and pray for his guidance and I pray for others.

    The day or two after I did something stupid, someone came through my door with two beautiful cats!!!! They had been kept in cages 24/7 all their lives by a breeder (the cats were aged 3 and 5 years) , he was going out of business and needed good homes for them and heard I was so wonderful with animals and was giving them to me for free. God had such a plan for me and I was but a mere mortal and didn't know that God had it all in hand. He knew those cats needed to be rescued but he also knew I needed to be rescued too and that the cats and I would rescue each other. That I wouldn't care for myself, BUT I would definitely provide care and love for the cats, and in turn care for myself so I could continue to care for the cats. God had the plan and knew the relationship between me and the cats would grow to the point where I would train them, the cats would willingly learn and be able, they would help me so much, and become registered service animals. They even take turns going in my electric scooter basket when we go out. They attend meetings of local support groups, including the local disabled support group, and allow anyone to pet them and love them for as long as the person wants. The one cat was petted and loved for 20 minutes while she listened to a disabled woman talk about her post-surgery problems.

    I say my prayers every morning (night is too rough with my back) and every day I thank God for these cats that are true blessings from Him and that these cats allow themselves to be shared with others.

    When I requested my housing to have service animals, the housing immediately got a lawyer to oppose it. I got HUD involved, my doctors were all in full agreement with my service animal cats and I had letters from those 5 doctors to prove it, and my cats were outstanding. The final that HUD worked out is I was able to have my Service Animal Cats here, the place where I live had to pay fines and I was the first person ever where I live to have service animals and thus I broke the "no service animals" barrier that had been unjustly placed upon disabled people here where I live.

    My spirituality is now expressed in my life and in my help to others in the local support groups. There is no woe over being disabled and I have been guided to the best path. God answered my prayers, but he needed me to do work. I had to work with the cats who had never been out of a cage, and never had beds, never had toys, and never had real love. I had to be patient and loving and eventually I had cats who were thriving so well and I began to thrive too. I had to train the cats and train them to be in my electric scooter basket and train them to be in the basket in stores. I trained them to come to a "dog clicker" in the house [I wanted to make sure if there was a fire and I couldn't speak, they would come running to a dog clicker and I could get them out]. And they learned and did things to help me that I would never had expected. It is an incredible match!!!!

  4. Denamay

    Denamay New Member

    The spiritual life, I believe is a process and not an end in it's self.

    I experienced a christian conversion many years ago and believed then, that it was the ultimate experience.

    It was wonderful!

    The years flew by and I began to see things a little differently.

    Still spititual, but I think with a greater understanding.

    It has been a journey with lots of hills and valleys but the fact remains that there is creation and we are a part of it.

    Can you imagine how many circumstances had to come into line in order for you to exist?

    There were so many variables tht it is impossible to compute, yet Vivian is unique, the only one, on this earth and I can know a little of her.

    She loves, feels pain,enjoys beauty,feels for others and is so complex that even she does not fully understand.

    Every cell in her body is able to reproduce another just like her [at least in theory].

    I do on and on, but I just can not get over how great is our God.

    By God I mean, however creation, the universe etc. came into existence.

    Love Denamay

    TwoCatDoctors I think that you are a perfect example of love in action.

    Maybe that is another word for God?

    Keep your posts coming. Love again Denamay





  5. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Vivian,

    RE: """I am so interested in religious experiences of others. It gives me hope."""

    *** I've mentioned at other times on this board that I belong to a spiritual group (religion) called Eckankar. They put out an annual publication called the Eckankar Journal, which is a compilation of spiritual experiences members in Eckankar have had and chosen to share.

    A handful of these stories are also in a section on the Eckankar website. Most of these stories have to do with special experiences Eckists have had with some of the Eck Masters, those beings whose mission it is to assist Souls who have the desire to experience Spiritual Freedom in this lifetime.

    There's probably about 20-30 short stories altogether. Obviously these experiences by Eckists will be oriented toward Eckankar and what it has meant to them. This may be too narrow of a focus on religious experiences that you have in mind, but thought I would at least post the link to the website in case you would interested.

    http://eckankar.org/Masters/index.html

    If you look on the left side of the page, there are several names of Eck Masters listed. If you click on any of the names, a few short stories will be available.

    I read something once that I wonder if you might be able to relate to. A interesting conversation went something like: "You know how you get that inner yearning to return home after you've been away for a long time?" "As Soul, we yearn to enter our true world, and as we get closer, there's an overwhelming love that surrounds us." "That's the divine love of God one encounters on his/her homeward journey to the higher planes."

    *** This indicates to me a really good yardstick people can use to get a reading on whether their spiritual seeking and/or path is taking them in the right direction. Essentially, is it leading them toward a greater love in their lives. If so, then a person is doing well. If not, then it may be time to seek elsewhere.

    As always Vivian, wishing you the very best as you move forward on your own, special, unique spiritual journey. I find your posts about the some of your spiritual yearnings to be quite touching. Probably because they are so honest and sincere.

    Warmly, Wayne
  6. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    Thanks for sharing your personal experiences with me.

    Deb I really get the search for a 'church home'. I hope you are able to find one that matches you and I agree that God, as I know Him, is in each of us.

    Jamin I know you understand where I am coming from. I am truly stuck on the 12 Steps without having a HP, so to speak, to turn my problems, character defects, etc, over to. I really don't know how to "Let Go and Let God". I am stumped there.

    TwoCat I had never read about how you met your cats. What a wonderful story. I admire you're trailblazing, breaking down outdated rules for people with disabilities. You and your cats are carrying the torch for the rest of us. What a giving person you are!

    Denamay thanks for responding. I realize the vastness of the universe and our uniqueness. I have used that concept, the mystery of it all, as my HP. What will happen if the Super Collider experiments going on underground in Europe are eventually able to tell us exactly how and when matter was formed? I am not being facetious.

    Hi Wayne. I always like your responses. I like the yardstick concept. Yes my path is leading me towards a greater love in my life. Right now this greater love is with my fellow man. I hope that a greater knowledge of a HP will follow as I continue on this path.

    I have a gut feeling that I will find what I am seeking if I remain open and in touch. I don't have to be in a big hurry to work the Al-Anon steps. Things will just work out as they are supposed to.

    It is hard for me to let go of the notion that if I keep trying hard enough I will be able to shape the future instead of being able to accept things as they come.

    Do I sound as clueless as I feel?

    vivian
  7. Denamay

    Denamay New Member

    You do not sound clueless at all,no one has all of the answers, least of all me.

    I came across as being a kind of a know- it- all, and I am sorry.

    You are right, that you do not have to be in a big hurry to work the Al- Anon program or anything else for that matter.

    I too am wondering what was happening with the Super Collider, I have not heard much about it lately.

    Interesting stuff anyway and maybe it will give us some answers, who knows?

    Your posts are always so thougtful and careing, you are a great person and someone who I would like to know better. Take good care, Denamy
    [This Message was Edited on 05/28/2009]
  8. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Vivian, Hi Deb, Hi Denamy, Hi Jam, Hi All,

    Vivian, RE: """It is hard for me to let go of the notion that if I keep trying hard enough I will be able to shape the future instead of being able to accept things as they come. Do I sound as clueless as I feel?"""

    *** When I think in terms of trying hard to shape the future, I tend to think I'm approaching things from the mental realm. I think mental concepts have their place, but I've found when I put an overemphasis on my mind and will to accomplish certain things (especially spiritual things), I often find myself getting bogged down and enjoying limited success.

    What I try to do these days is more in line with using visualization and imagination when setting out some of my goals. And then letting go and allowing Spirit to come in and help shape things in a far better way than I could do by overly relying on my mental capabilities. I've found this approach to be less stressful and far more productive.

    It does depend on a degree of trust and a certain willingness to surrender to allow the blessings of Spirit into our lives. BTW, I don't want to leave you with the impression that I've mastered this all. :) It’s a constant learning process for me. And I think it’s likely a continuing challenge for anybody living in the industrialized world where there is a cultural orientation toward overly relying on our mental capabilities.

    I think spiritual unfoldment can sometimes be somewhat paradoxical. When we take a step forward in our spiritual lives, it can be like stepping into a larger room (like an expanded state of consciousness).

    On one hand, we’ve been able to take this step because we’ve exercised a certain discipline to expand our awareness. But when we enter in a new larger room, we often become even more aware of what we don’t know. And sometimes can feel clueless until we’ve had a chance to integrate some of the spiritual changes that are occurring within us.

    It would seem that God can be very clever in ensuring we retain some humility. :)

    All the Best, Wayne[This Message was Edited on 05/28/2009]
  9. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    I don't think you came across as a know it all. I like to read about your spirituality and your views of the universe.

    Yes I am interested in what we may discover if we are able to discover the source of all matter. It is mind boggling really. I try to keep up with all the scientific finds and theories today but....

    Thanks for being a friend Denamay

    vivian
  10. Doznclan3

    Doznclan3 New Member

    Welcome. Sounds like you have indeed felt the sweet spirit of God. I'm sorry that you can't get to church. But, come on here and share your beautiful feelings and knowledge. Share a favorite scripture. Share what you have done in the day that makes you grateful. You get the picture. We love to hear what others are up to. If prayers are needed, you need only to ask. I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind. I don't know where I would be today if I hadn't found my Savior.
    God Bless, and please, come back in.
    Jam, we love ya!
    Love, Cynthia
  11. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Anchorholds, Hi Jam, Hi Doznclan,

    Hi Anchor, was so nice to see you posting here this morning. Felt like a special treat to have you show up. I've always appreciated your posts over on the FM board, and I'm sure I'll appreciate and enjoy our posts here as well. Welcome. :) Oh, BTW, kudos to your Dad for asking you such a provocative question at such a young tender age. Sometimes "little things" like that can steer a child/person off in whole new positive directions.

    Hi Jam, I have to agree with you about the partying thing. As long as you don't hurt anybody, there's probably no harm. If there's any harm at all, it might to ourselves. But you know, most people get through the partying stage and move on with their lives. So in that sense, I tend to look at these kinds of experiences as possibly some important stepping stones.

    Hi Cynthia, nice to see you start a little chorus here welcoming Anchor to this board. Sounds like your feelings were similar to mine when you saw her first post here. BTW, seems about every time I see you post here, I start thinking about chickens. :) You even have me thinking about getting a few myself; not sure if the city would approve however. Guess I'll just enjoy thinking about it once in a while for now.

    Best to All, Wayne
  12. Gingareeree

    Gingareeree New Member

    Welcome and thanks for sharing your faith journey,it was very uplifting! Today being Pentecost Sunday,our choir was in full force. The music sooo beautiful. I had tears in my eyes! Looking around @ the church packed to bursting it was very affirming to see all of us together lifting up our voices in thanks and praise. As a cradle Catholic, I wandered off my spiritual path in my 20's and 30's,got back in the "groove" in my 40's(now56yrs). I am so grateful for my gift of faith. It has been such a source of strength and comfort when faced with some pretty difficult challenges. Happy to hear you found your way home as well. This site is a great venue for sharing just as you have! Blesings~~~Jeanne~~~
    P.S...Vivian,best wishes to you as you continue your quest for faith,may the Holy Spirit guide you!!
    [This Message was Edited on 05/31/2009]
  13. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    I am glad we are having this discussion. It is helpful to me to hear everyone's experiences.

    Welcome anchorholds. It's good to hear from you. It sounds like you have had wonderful church and religious experiences.

    When I first started on my journey towards faith I sought the type of experience that you described; that awesome, loving, exuberant knowing that there is a God.

    I wanted to physically feel His presence. In the book I am reading the author states that almost half of people who believe in a HP have a physical "knowing" experience. They feel an overwhelming love for all things and a connectedness they hadn't had before.

    Many who post here describe similar feelings. I am lowering my expectations. I have wanted to "know" for so long and have been so disappointed. I have learned that if I am continually disappointed in life I need to re-examine my expectations.

    Right now I am finding peace in my life. Really for the first time. I credit this to my attendance in Al-Anon meetings, to reading the posts from so many different people here, and from my readings.

    I also credit it to lifestyle changes. Yep Jamin, I too had a lot of fun in my past. I could party with the best of them. I can't anymore, don't have the will or the stamina.

    I think that these good times were very valuable in my life but may have been distracting me. Keeping me from seeking out spirituality, trying to find something greater than myself to believe in.

    Jamin I love to read about your life. You seem to have so many friends and do so many fun things with them. I can see why they like you, you are open and loving.

    Wayne would you mind explaining to me how you know about your past lives? How do the thoughts or feelings come to you? Do you believe these are "religious experiences, like in bringing you closer to your HP?

    hope everyone has the best Monday possible,

    vivian

  14. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Vivian,

    Seems we're jumping around from board to board recently staying in touch. I like it!

    Regarding past life recalls - I created a post a while back where I touched on some of this. This thread can be accessed at:

    http://www.prohealth.com/blog/boardDetail.cfm?id=48013&setBoard=Worship#49863

    A couple of paragraphs in that post sort of get to the jist of my perspectives:

    """I have friends who have learned to access past life experiences quite easily. I don't have that type of ability. My recalls usually involve having a very long and clear dream. And then after the dream, I wake up sort of tingling all over. An indication to me that it was much more than a dream.

    I also feel my past life recalls were gifts made available to me by my spiritual guides. I had asked to be shown any past lives that might have a bearing on my current life, and feel blessed to have had a few recalls."""

    *** To elaborate just a bit -- I think different people will experience past lives in different ways. I've chosen to ask for assistance from some spiritual masters who have an expertise in this area. They generally know us better than we know ourselves, and so are able to locate those lives that have the most bearing on our current lifetimes.

    If they feel we're able to handle a particular past life recall, they then assist in making this happen. They're generally very focused in their assistance, and make sure that any assistance is given in the most "economical" manner.

    For instance, if a past life is having an impact on our health in this lifetime, they are sometimes able to facilitate the recall, which can then initiate a spiritual healing response, a response that can go much deeper than perhaps just physical and/or emotional healing.

    I read an account by a woman once who had struggled her whole lifetime with very weak ankles. She was always twisting or spraining them, often ending up on crutches to get around. She also had a corresponding feeling of feeling "defective", a feeling she was never able to understand or resolve.

    She finally asked for assistance with her dilemma, and was given a past life recall that got to the root of some of her difficulties. She was a young boy in the middle east a couple thousand years ago, who was born with a club foot. His family in that lifetime was so ashamed and embarrassed by his disability, that they sold him at a very young age as a slave. These new owners treated him very badly, often ridiculing and making fun of his disability. He thus came to view himself as defective.

    With this revelation and understanding of how this particular dynamic of weak ankles and a distorted self image started, she was able to receive a spiritual healing. After that, her ankles healed up, and she never had the same kinds of problems with them as she had had.

    I like the idea of using past life recalls to take a step further in our current lives. I suspect some people probably have certain grandiose notions about who they might have been in a past life, and are interested in learning about them for various reasons, sometimes perhaps even recreational. I don't see anything wrong with it, but it would seem such attitudes could limit the benefits that could be potentially available.

    RE: """I think that these good times were very valuable in my life but may have been distracting me."""

    You know, I read once that each person's search for happiness is their search for God. We often try many different avenues toward finding happiness. We may party for a while, and eventually find it comes up a bit short. We may feel the answers to some of our longings is to obtain great wealth, or great power, or great fame; any number of other things.

    Nothing wrong with any of these, but they can't fill that deep longing for something greater that eventually resurfaces again and again, often over many lifetimes. Apparently, we all eventually find God (or Love) in our own way and in our own time. And with this discovery comes Spiritual Freedom. And with Spiritual Freedom comes ever new (and adventurous) responsibilities. I find it all pretty exciting! :)

    All the Best, Wayne
    [This Message was Edited on 06/02/2009]
  15. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    (I bow to the divine in you.)

    You have everything you want and need already. You won't find it outside yourself because, in my understanding, there is no such place. We keep searching for something which is at a distance, something we can back up and get a good look at, something out there and not us.

    My take is a little different from some others here who also feel that divinity is within. For me, there is no within and without. There is nothing which is lost and nothing to be found. "It" is always "there" ready to be acknowledged or accessed or put into action or rested within. I'm not trying to be obtuse, I simply am obtuse :eek:)

    Anyway, for many of us who are not on a messianic path, this journey is about finding a way to express what we are. Sometimes when we find a way to express it, we say: This is perfect, this is enough, this is everything, this is exactly what I've been looking for - this is it!

    Someone sent me this wonderful article today and I immediately thought of you. Yes, it's the story of a Buddhist woman but that's not why I'm sharing or why I thought of you. I thought of you because it is a story of searching. And, I thought of you because sometimes finding out where we are, is so totally surprising! Who knew!?!

    And, I thought of you because the search is a glorious adventure to be taken with an eager heart and gladness to be free to journey unfettered. Freedom is so precious and adventures are so splendid!

    http://www.heumanwrites.com/christineskarda/pdf/BD_Spring_09_p59_Skarda.pdf

    It's a download - totally safe.

    Peace to you and yours and theirs...


  16. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    (I bow to the divine in you.)

    You have everything you want and need already. You won't find it outside yourself because, in my understanding, there is no such place. We keep searching for something which is at a distance, something we can back up and get a good look at, something out there and not us.

    My take is a little different from some others here who also feel that divinity is within. For me, there is no within and without. There is nothing which is lost and nothing to be found. "It" is always "there" ready to be acknowledged or accessed or put into action or rested within. I'm not trying to be obtuse, I simply am obtuse :eek:)

    Anyway, for many of us who are not on a messianic path, this journey is about finding a way to express what we are. Sometimes when we find a way to express it, we say: This is perfect, this is enough, this is everything, this is exactly what I've been looking for - this is it!

    Someone sent me this wonderful article today and I immediately thought of you. Yes, it's the story of a Buddhist woman but that's not why I'm sharing or why I thought of you. I thought of you because it is a story of searching. And, I thought of you because sometimes finding out where we are, is so totally surprising! Who knew!?!

    And, I thought of you because the search is a glorious adventure to be taken with an eager heart and gladness to be free to journey unfettered. Freedom is so precious and adventures are so splendid!

    http://www.heumanwrites.com/christineskarda/pdf/BD_Spring_09_p59_Skarda.pdf

    It's a download - totally safe.

    Peace to you and yours and theirs...



    ETA Oh yeah, and freedom isn't anything like what we think it is! That's another reason why I'm sending you this!

    [This Message was Edited on 06/02/2009]
  17. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    Yep we have a mulit message board communication thing going on and it is fun.

    I understand your past life recall much better now, thank you. I didn't realize that a guide is needed but I can see why. There are so many different ways to heal the psyche.

    I liked the story of the woman with the bad ankles. The way that past life regression facilitates healing is very interesting. I can see how this works.

    If she had been a client of mine I might have interpreted her problems in a different way, treated them differently but towards the same goal; insight and healing.

    I might have helped her find that there was something going on in her life that she wanted to "walk away" from but just couldn't. Maybe she wanted to be independent but just couldn't "stand on her own two feet." Treating her as if her ankle problems might have been a conversion reaction.

    I believe that what ever works for each person is good.

    I like what you said about each person search for happiness is their search for God. I am still working on the thoughts about each step I take towards finding my HP is like stepping into another room, and that not all of these steps will be forward.

    It is exciting, and it is freeing. I need to stop feeling so anxious about it. Things will unfold as they are supposed to. I am working on being less of a worrier in general, because that is my nature and I want to let that part of me go.

    I have only started to realize the reason I felt such a void, how I tried many different ways to fill it that were not only unsuccessful but unhealthy, and how I am going to go about it differently now.

    peace and hugs to you Wayne,
    vivian

  18. vivian53

    vivian53 Member


    Thanks for all your responses. Anchor and Ginger your experiences are exactly what I have been talking about. A physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit. You didn't have any doubts after having your insightful moments. These experiences are the ones I have given up wanting.

    Thanks Ancor for believing I will find what I am seeking. I also believe that I am more likely now to find my way because I am open.

    Rafiki I love your posts to me. I always feel better about myself after I read them. Thank you all so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings with me.

    I don't have time to respond further but will when I can sit down and think.

    love
    vivian