Friday, November 14, 2008

Filling Our Lamps With Oil

Here are some things that Eknath Easwaran recommends to nurture and cultivate the God-seed within, and help us to reveal our Original Goodness. I added (in italics) some examples and goals for my own life.

1. Meditation

Sit for a few minutes each morning, and at stop-lights.
2. Repetition of the Holy Name

Example: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
3. Slowing Down
Vacations, coffee-free days, bicycle riding, working outside, driving slower and walking.
4. One-pointedness

Goal: Avoid over-extending and try to focus on one simple thing at a time.
5. Training the Senses

Goal: Avoid over-stimulation.
6. Putting Others First
Forgive others' everyday mistakes and imperfections.
7. Spiritual Reading
Read a few pages from inspirational books in the mornings.
8. Spiritual Association
Examples: Christian fellowship in a church community, meditation group, and people at work.

Monday, November 3, 2008

God's Word

Those of us who have decided to follow Jesus do not necessarily believe the same things. For example, we may see the Bible in different ways. The members of our Sunday School class were asked to fill out a questionaire about "God's Word" last Sunday. Several of the questions had to do with the Bible.

Although I did not get a chance to share my answers, I was somewhat surprised by the answers of some of the other members. This led me to consider this and I have written down some of my thoughts.

For me, God's Word does not come just from the Bible, or even primarily from the Bible. Other sources of God's Word for me are: all inspired writings, and oral traditions, both ancient and modern, both Christian and non-Christian. These questions seem important: Does it ring true in my heart, especially during quiet times, listening to the small, still voice within? What do people I respect believe? Does it come from a true Spirit of Love?

JJ Dewey says:
the sincere religious person has felt 'soul contact' while reading the scriptures and because of this is not about to drop his belief in the closest link he has to the Spirit. On the other hand, many "new agers" have not even read the scriptures, or had them forced upon them while they were young, and do not identify with this feeling. Instead, many of them have received some spiritual contact while reading other books that teach enough 'truth' to draw the inner

In the quote above, I identify more with the "new ager". JJ Dewey goes on to say that:
God has spoken to many different people in many different ways and even though the vocabulary and definitions may vary, the core truths are the same.

I think that it is more important to have the Spirit of Jesus in our hearts than to have a "right" view of the Bible. If one has the Spirit of Jesus in their heart, they are hearing God's Word.

May I remember what is truly important.