Turning to Spirit Within
In my last post I described how the prayers in “Art & Soul” differ from the conventional approach.. These prayers, rather than being “to” something are “from” a place of deep connection with Spirit. They are structured to bring about a shift in awareness away from the material plane to that vast formless Power and Presence that was never born and never dies and is the Creative Intelligence underlying everything.
They follow a specific format designed by Dr. Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious Science, a teaching that seeks to uncover the truth that weaves through all the religious and spiritual traditions.. First, the names and qualities of the Divine are evoked to turn the attention away from the world of forms and toward the sacred.. Next, the person praying unifies with this Divine Presence -- call it God or Goddess, Allah, Great Spirit, or whatever name feels right -- by acknowledging that it is everywhere present and, as such, exists within each and every one of us as well as without. How could it be otherwise if God is omnipresent? Then the circumstances that the one praying desires to experience are described in the most positive and convincing terms possible.. And finally, the outcome is given over to a Higher Power to achieve..
As the consciousness of the individual is shifted away from whatever is perceived as the problem and toward this vast Consciousness that underlies everything, he/she activates a spiritual field that has the power to create something greater, something beyond the capacity of the individual personality.. In aligning with this inner dimension, what Deepak Chopra calls the Field of Infinite Potential, and claiming it as a reality within our own being, the problem-based thinking is transformed and the situation is handed over to this Infinite Presence to resolve.. The relief on an energetic level is palpable and virtually always immediate.. And quite frequently, the by-product is that the perceived problem simply disappears and the desirable circumstance begins to take form.. At the deepest level, this kind of prayer is a form of surrender to a Higher Power that has the wisdom to know what is best in every circumstance.. There is a trust and freedom that allows the ego to relax and be at peace with what is..
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I started writing poetry during silent meditation retreats about a decade ago. During these retreats my mind became so still and I was so filled with love, beauty and peace that I wanted to capture and express what I was experiencing. I can’t really claim authorship; the poems simply emerge out of the silence.. One day, after several years of writing poetry, I suddenly remembered that as a young woman in college I had wanted to be a poet. However, coming from a very practical family none of whom were college graduates, I did not think I could earn a living as a poet, so I channeled my writing abilities into journalism.. It was a revelation to realize decades later that I had finally come home to my original yearning.
As for the artwork, I have been pursuing art as a sideline all my adult life.. I started out doing hand bookbinding and showed my work internationally before I set it aside to rear my daughter. Eventually I was pulled to drawing and painting and studied art at the local community college and later University of Toledo in Ohio.. About 15 years ago, I lost interest in interpreting the outer world and only wanted to convey inner experiences.. Like the poems, the artwork simply emerges out of the silence or out of the energetic field created by chanting. The paintings are my best attempt to give form to that which is beyond form – a paradox for sure..
It is my sincere hope that this book offers a taste of these same blissful experiences to anyone who takes the time to imbibe it. It is not a book to “read” so much as to absorb. Those who are drawn to it may want to use it like an oracle – simply open to a random page and see what it has to offer. It just may be the perfect antidote for whatever challenges are appearing in the moment -- balm for the heart and soul.