Living From YOUR Heart

WELCOME!

Today’s post is about seeking the inspiration that is always present in YOUR Soul.

As the winter holiday approaches I felt moved to share a personal practice that has brought me endless inspiration and peace, and has helped me to become a more compassionate, loving human being.

For over 30 years I have regularly used the Saint Francis Prayer that is also referred to as a Prayer for Peace for my morning and evening meditations.

The Prayer for Peace

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace-

Where there is hatred … let me sow love,

Where there is injury … pardon,

Where there is doubt … faith, 

Where there is despair … hope, 

Where there is darkness … light,

Where there is sadness … joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled … as to console, 

To be understood … as to understand,

To be loved … as to love,

                  For

It is in giving … that we receive,

It is in pardoning … that we are pardoned,

It is in dying … That we are born to eternal life.

Although I practice many forms of meditation, I continue to find what one of my spiritual teachers, Eknath Easwaran, calls “passage meditation”, very inspiring, grounding, and powerful.

Now for those who are interested in trying out “passage meditation” but are either not particularly religious or consider yourself to be agnostic, atheist, or otherwise not inclined to consider this sort of thing, I invite you to simply eliminate the words “Lord” and “Divine Master”.

There, that was easy!

For those of you who are new to the idea of meditation or want a little more guidance and instruction, and/or are just curious about my specific ritual, I have included an excerpt from my November 8th post that includes specific instructions on how to meditate as well as a ritual I like to follow.

Excerpt from November 8th post:

There are many forms and methods of meditation.  I have practiced many types of meditation inspired by the mystics and spiritual teachers from a wide variety of backgrounds, faiths, and cultures.

Every form of meditation I have practiced had several things in common:

  • A reverent attitude- our inner worlds are a sacred space
  • Relaxation
  • Gentle, directed focus of attention
  • When the mind wanders, gentle non-judgmental redirection of the attention back to the object of the meditation
  • A brief period of silent reflection during the ending portion of the meditation to be open to inspirations

You will need a quiet, private space.

Please turn off your cell phone, computer, etc.  You should plan at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted, quiet time for the meditation and 5 to ten minutes of time to write about your experience and/or inspirations.

Please read the next section before you begin!

An Inner Journey 

Beginning ritual:

A coaching colleague of mine once shared her meaning of the word ritual:  “Right you all” – meaning that the purpose of a ritual is set things right in your inner world so that you can approach the outer world with clear intentions that not only serve you but those around you.

The following recommendations are based on my own practices.

Naturally, you can follow any practice(s) that meets you.

  • Light a candle.

I always recommend lighting a candle.  Doing so generally sets a “mood” that is peaceful and conducive to an “inner orientation”. The flame represents the Light of Wisdom and Truth as well as the flame of unconditional Love that burns deep in the spiritual heart of all human beings.  It also is a universal symbol of Spirit and, for many people, elicits an attitude of reverence.

  • Burn some incense

This is intended to purify the space and to remove any odors that may be distracting.

The smoke also represents the nature of Spirit that naturally expands to fill the void of space.  Please note that it is not necessary, or even desirable, to have incense burning the whole time you meditate.

  • Create a purifying sound

This is done by ringing a bell with a pure tone or using a pair of meditation cymbals.

Ring the bell or hit the meditation cymbals together three times allowing the sound to completely dissipate between rings.  This is intended to purify the vibration of the space.

It even works outdoors.

What if you don’t have a candle, incense, or a way to make a purifying sound and/or just don’t have the time to do all of this.

No worries; just do the meditation portion.

Remember: The best meditation is the one you do!

Meditation Instructions

Those who have practiced meditation can sit as they usually do.  Those new to the practice of meditation can either:

  • Sit with your back, head, and neck in a single straight line in a comfortable chair with arms.

Or

  • Lie on your back on the floor or on your bed

The important thing is to be sure you are comfortable.

Once comfortably positioned, gently close your eyes.

Begin by taking three deep breaths in through your nose.

Breathe in slowly, gently and appreciatively drawing the air and its life giving oxygen into the deepest part of your lungs, then thoroughly exhale.

As you inhale, imagine that you are drawing in healing, restorative, invigorating energy into your body and mind.

As you exhale, imagine that you are releasing all of the pent-up frustrations with life out into the universe to be transformed into life giving forces.

Now you are ready to silently repeat the prayer.

Some points to remember:

  • If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the beginning of the prayer without any judgments!
  • Please, pretty please, leave sufficient time for inspiring thoughts to enter your consciousness and to journal briefly about your inspirations and experience

Enjoy the holiday

See you next week!

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3 Comments »

Comment by Stephen Light
December 20, 2011 @ 9:10 am

Hi Ron

The St Francis Prayer is very special to me and what joy to know it is special to you too. I have it written and stuck up on my mirror. The 2 lines that really connect with me are:
Where there is darkness let me bring light – somehow it seems it was written into my purpose in life
AND
To be understood … as to understand. Too many of us want to be right and have forgotten to listen.

Thank you for the reminder Ron.

The meditation made easy steps is very enlightening.

God Bless
Love & Courage
Stephen


Comment by Alan Roby
December 20, 2011 @ 10:55 am

Thanks for these great pointers, Ron! I start each day with a quiet time of gratitude and intention-setting, and do find that it makes a big difference (for the better) in how I show up the rest of the day.


Comment by JBL
December 20, 2011 @ 11:16 am

For many years I considered meditation of any type a custom of far away mystics having no value in modern Western life. My experience as a psychotherapist searching for tools for patients led me to exploring forms of meditation to treat anxiety issues. I discovered many other practical uses and inevitably the spiritual benefits these practices bring, e.g., patience, willingness to forgive, increased mental focus and self control. It is easy to see how this ties directly into maintaining deep, committed relationships. Your holiday blog is indeed a wonderful gift for your readers ! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all there at Inspired Commitment.


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