The heart of our Mission is in the Stillness. The Stillness is to be found in "the citadel of the spirit" which resides within us as "the still, small voice." By setting aside the cares of the day, the demands of mortal obligations, and the stimuli of the material world, we are able to access that peace which passes all understanding.
What is Stillness? Is it like meditation? Is it like prayer? Eastern meditation and Western spiritual up-reach are joined in the practice of Stillness. The Stillness is inclusive of both. From Eastern meditation, it includes physical relaxation, mental stillness and silent listening. From Western contemplation, it includes dialogue with God, prayer and worship.
We believe both Eastern and Western traditions can complement and learn from each other. Practiced together in daily Stillness, these steps can collectively bring even greater fulfillment and enlightenment to the spiritual seeker. The commonalities of each approach are evidenced by the climactic experience of each - "The Embrace" with God.
Stillness is not a formal structure; it is any time you spend with God. But many have found it helpful in the beginning to structure this time by following these seven steps:
1. Physical Relaxation. The first step involves posture, breathing, and relaxing the muscles to de-stress the body. No special sitting position is required.
2. Mental Stillness. Stilling a constantly active mind can be the most difficult step. The technique of stilling the mind involves letting go of thoughts and concerns of the day by shifting your focus toward ….
3. Dialogue with God. God is the best friend, wisest counselor and most loving parent you could ever imagine. Share your experiences, concerns and questions as you would with a most open and trustworthy confidant. Envision God nearby waiting to listen to whatever is on your mind.
4. Prayer. This is the opportunity to ask God for insight into your problems and for assistance in helping you to grow spiritually. Also, it is a time to express your love for God's other children by asking that they be given insights to find salvation and spiritual enrichment.
5. Worship. During this time, simply give thanks to God for your life and the goodness and blessings you have been given. Look beyond the physical-material needs and focus on the fruits of the spirit which God can multiply in your life.
6. Silent Listening. Now take time to listen -not for some booming voice to tell you everything, but for God's inspiration. It may be faint or subtle and may take time to get through the static layers of your consciousness. But rest assured. God will answer you.
7. The Embrace. Finally, bask in the presence and love of God. Feel the inner knowing in faith that you are a beloved child of a compassionate and benevolent Heavenly Parent. Realize God is the creator of these loving, energizing feelings, and your destiny is to live in that love forever. God is the source of all life. God is the source of you and loves you more than anyone else!
In No. 3. Dialogue with God, you will notice that "with God" is emphasized. There are those who believe that "It's all God." And in terms of divine omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence, God is indeed everything and everywhere. The emphasis is to stress that Dialog with God is to be desired over and above dialog with any and all other celestial personalities.
The Stillness is suggested in Poet Jelaluddin Rumi's invitation: "Out beyond the ideas of right-doing or wrong-doing there is a field. I'll meet you there."
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