Monthly Archives: October 2014

Meditation as a Listening Prayer Practice

Hello again, my name is Dave Miller, and I am a licensed associate professional counselor in the state of Georgia, lay pastor, and author of the book Christian Tantric Meditation Guide, available at in Kindle and paperback editions. Form more information visit

I’m going to start today by asking a question: What are our strengths, what are our gifts, and who is it that God made us to be?

Some of us may be self aware and living our potential, accepting and being who God made us to be. Many of us are not sure, but we have some ideas. Some of us don’t have a clue, but that’s OK, in fact that’s great, because people who admit that they don’t have a clue about who they are approach the question with an open mind, which is a great place to start any adventure.

Who are we, as human beings? For many people who participate in the Abrahamic traditions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, our first clue about who we are comes from our sacred scripture, which says that we are made in the Image of God. And also, from our sacred scriptures, we have some clues about who God is. We all believe that God is Merciful and Gracious, and we all believe that God is with us.

Lets unpack that a little bit, what does Gracious mean? Full of Grace. What does Grace mean? Grace means showing unmerited favor or having unconditional love. Unconditional means that whether we are sinners, or saints, or somewhere in between, God is with us and loves us.

So when we go back to our original question, which was what are our strengths and gifts, we have a few clues to start with. We are made in the image of God, we are loved unconditionally, and God is always with us.

These are powerful tools to start our adventure with, knowing God is with us and that we are loved unconditionally. From here the question naturally arises, what does it mean to be made in the image of God? Well for starters, we know that unconditional love is part of who we are, part of our DNA. We also know that being with others is part of our DNA, we are social beings.

The questions we have asked so far are about the nature of humanity, the remaining questions are a bit more specific, they apply to us as individuals.    How do we ask God, who is with us always and loves us unconditionally? In the Abrahamic traditions we ask God in prayer.

If we pray to God asking specific questions, we may need to take time to listen for an answer.  When we try to listen, a variety of things can happen.   Sometimes our minds become so flooded with possibilities that it was hard to pick out an answer.  Sometimes  our minds are so filled with day to day life the answers are covered up. And sometimes they

This is where meditation comes in.

The Abrahamic cultures and faiths have volumes and volumes of wonderful stories, advice, and messages from God as told through prophets, there are other traditions in this wonderful planet we live on who have spent thousands of years developing and documenting techniques for listening through meditation. And those techniques include Yogic Hindu and Tantric Buddhist practices.

There are many many mystical teachings from within the Abrahamic traditions that focus on listening, and studying and using those writings and traditions is a wonderful thing to do. But within those traditions, mysticism, meditation, and listening have been outside of the mainstream. In Eastern traditions, meditation has been a central focus for thousands of years, leading to Tantric practice techniques.

Because of the focus on listening, Tantric practices are consistent with many of the Abrahamic religious teachings and traditions. For example, Tantric Self Emptying calls to mind fasting and atonement practices in all traditions. Guruyoga calls to mind practices used to bring people close to God. And Compassion based meditation is consistent with teachings related to loving our neighbors and treating others as we would be treated.

Some of the eastern meditation techniques are finding their way into counseling practices. Mindfulness and Compassion oriented meditation techniques have applications in addiction, anger management, codependency, and all other areas of mental health.

Christian Tantric Meditation consists of three stages – self emptying, Divine Communion, and Compassion. Self emptying allows us to release the desires, resentments and attachments, and fears and burdens that hinder our ability to listen to ourselves, others, and God. Divine Communion invites God to become a part of us, increasing our intimacy and ability to listen, and allowing us to accept the gifts of Hope, Love, and Faith that God has to offer. And finally, Compassion practices help us to accept and love unconditionally ourselves and others, for who we are here and now.

So, we’ve asked and answered some questions, about who we are, who God is, how we speak with God in prayer and how we can listen to God using meditation. We have talked about Tantric practice applications to human psychology and to Abrahamic cultures. We’ve also talked about how Christian Tantric meditation uses Tantric practices in a Christian context. What have we learned, what are our take aways?

God is with us, and we are all loved unconditionally. Knowledge of this is our foundation. We are all formed in the Image of God, and we all are given strengths and gifts. Meditative practices help us learn and grow into our strengths and gifts. Meditative practices increase our ability to listen, which helps us appreciate ourselves, God, and others more fully.

Christian Tantric Meditation provides a powerful collection of Meditation practices that can be learned through the book and / or workshops, so visit for more information.

My final prayer is that we all learn to listen to ourselves, and God, and to one another, so that we may all encourage each other and grow into being the people whom we were created to be.   Have a blessed day!

Christian Tantric Meditation Book Reviews

We have been very blessed to receive positive book reviews at from Bruce Alderman Integral Scholar, Rev. Lou Kavar PhD, and Kim Waters Rose LPC.  Excerpts from those reviews are included below:

A Luminous Guide to Living the Fruits of the Spirit, Bruce Alderman Integral Scholar

Bruce AldermanFor many people, the word ‘tantra’ either evokes images of exotic, arcane rituals or ancient erotic arts. While these associations with the term are not entirely inaccurate, they obscure the essence of tantric practice, which is a sophisticated, artful means of human self-cultivation and self-transformation. In the Christian Tantric Meditation Guide, David Miller has beautifully distilled several essential elements of this practice and has applied them, quite fruitfully and imaginatively, within a Christian context.

Miller’s patient, gentle approach in this text makes the navigation of unfamiliar concepts and practices almost seamless, and his explication and frequent illumination of these concepts with Christian scriptural passages and images helps to demonstrate the relevance and power of these tantric exercises for deepening Christian practice. This book is not only for Christians, however.

I expect it will also be of interest to Western Buddhists who may have had Christian or Jewish roots, or who may be sympathetic to Christian tradition; to ‘spiritual but not religious’ practitioners who appreciate the archetypal power of religious language and imagery; to interfaith dialogue practitioners; and to individuals interested in the emerging integral and interspiritual approaches of Ken Wilber, Thich Nhat Hanh, Brother Wayne Teasdale, Bede Griffiths, Kurt Johnson, Cynthia Bourgeault, Beatrice Bruteau, the Dalai Lama, and many others. Highly recommended.

Insightful for those moving beyond traditional Christianity Rev Lou Kavar PhD.

Rev Lou Kavar-trimmedAs a spiritual director, I’ve worked with many individuals who find that their spiritual path leads them from the Christian tradition of their family to explore forms of Buddhist meditation. Few books integrate these two traditions in a way that reflects such spiritual journeys. Miller’s book presents a clearly organized approach that blends Buddhist practice with Christian metaphor in a way that many people will find comfortable. The book is an important addition to spiritual literature which will be useful for those exploring beyond traditional Christian spirituality and belief.

A great bridge between philosophies KIm Waters Rose LPC

Kim Waters RoseAs a Licensed Professional Counselor, many of my clients often struggle with stress and learning how to quiet their mind. With hectic schedules and little time for themselves, more and more counselors are turning to Buddhist techniques and principles for use in therapy because they are helpful and consistent with sound psychological healing practices. What this book does is help to make these principles and techniques accessible to Christian clients.

The chapter on mindful “self emptying” can be useful to therapists and clients alike. This practice helps a person to be “fully present” for another, and increases self awareness of the inner desires, attachments and resentments, and fears that can interfere with being
“fully present.”

One of the things I appreciate about this book is the emphasis on balance in
life and practice. For example, in the chapter describing “Divine Communion”,
the female “Mary-Sophia” aspect of what it means to be a person made in the image of God is an integral part of the process, and is presented in a way that includes both Old and New Testament biblical references.

Another example of balance is provided in the chapter describing compassion,
where the importance of healthy boundaries is emphasized. Understanding of the problems associated with codependency inform an approach to compassion that increases self-awareness of unhealthy motivations and cycles that can contribute to codependent behaviors.

One of the most powerful experiences a person can gain from this book is the integration and acceptance of self – made in the Image of God – as human, Divine, and Spirit in nature. This exercise in self integration occurs as part of the “compassion for self” practice.

Over all I would highly recommend this book for anyone who has a desire to experience the benefits of meditation and has a cultural, religious, or Spiritual connection with Christianity.




Video Introducing Dave Miller

Hi – My name is Dave Miller, and I am a licensed associate professional counselor, lay pastor, and author of the book Christian Tantric Meditation Guide, available at in Kindle and paperback editions. I also administrate Ecumenical Christian Wellness Ministries under the direction of Renewal Wellness at New Hope Counseling in Cumming Georgia. I work with groups and individuals who need some help dealing with or letting go of some of the burdens that hold them back in life, physically, emotionally, in relationships, and Spiritually.

I’ve been married to my wife Stacey for 30 years, and together we’ve raised 4 children who are grown now. I’m also a church going Christian, and I believe that God loves us all unconditionally, and God demonstrates love for humanity through the teachings, the life, the death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. I believe that God is with us today, all around us and within us, in the presence of the Holy Spirit. I believe that we can know that the Holy Spirit is present with us and with others by recognizing the Gifts that the Holy Spirit brings, including love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.   I also have found that in order to recognize and receive the gifts the Holy Spirit has to offer, we need to learn to let go of some of the burdens that hold us back and open ourselves up to receive and accept those gifts.

I first received by calling into ministry in the Spring of 1994. I had been working as an electrical engineer for over 10 years at that point. As I recall, it was a beautiful day, and while I was driving down the road I decided to ask God a question. The question I asked was whether there are trees and flowers and birds in heaven. I was a little surprised when I received an answer. It wasn’t a direct voice so much as a strong sense of a loving affirming Presence. The answer I received was yes, there are trees and flowers in heaven. Then I asked the question whether there I would still be an individual person in heaven, able to learn and grow as a person. I love learning, I love reading, I love exploring and sharing. The answer came back that yes, I would still be myself and I would be able to learn and grow. Then I asked the question that changed everything. I asked whether there is anything we can do here on earth that we can’t do in heaven. The answer was yes, there is one thing we can do here that we won’t be able to do in heaven, and that is help people who are suffering, because there is no suffering nor death in heaven. As you can imagine, this experience affected me deeply, and defined the path that I have been following ever since.

The first thing that people notice when they meet me is my tracheotomy. My trach gives me a little extra room to breath because I have scar tissue in my upper airway. You may notice that I put my thumb over my trach to talk. This allows me to push air up past my vocal cords so I can talk. I’ve had this for 20 years now, and I’m so used to it that I hardly notice it, and my friends say they don’t notice it either. It’s just a part of who I am now.

After I first received my trach, I was left without a voice several years. I could use a buzzer to communicate, but for the most part I was silent. One might say I was forced into a vow of silence. I started writing about the feelings I was experiencing, the sense of loss and frustration, and about my relationship with God as I went through this. A minister friend of mine read my writing and suggested that I take some classes in the Emory University Divinity program to learn the language I needed to express myself theologically. I took his advice, attended Emory and ended up getting my Master’s in Theological Studies.

During that time I attended Emory, I practiced chaplain ministry in a homeless shelter setting at Atlanta Union Mission. Having no voice, I was forced to “just listen” to the people I worked with, offering no advice whatsoever. I was blessed to witness not only the amazing stories and wonderful cultural diversity of the people I worked with, but also the almost miraculous healing properties that empathetic listening can provide. This experience led me to a deeper exploration of the power of listening, to myself, to God, and to others, with the help of meditation.

I continued to listen as I practiced lay ministry within the Methodist Church and later led an alternative worship service that was based on sharing and listening.

My exploration of listening led me to Argosy University, where I earned my Master’s in Community Counseling, after which I went into listening professionally as a counselor. In my therapy practice I use both solution focused and mindfulness oriented cognitive behavioral techniques.

And throughout all of this, I have been training in and studying and practicing techniques in prayerful listening and meditation. .

So here I am today. I’ve had a lot of experiences that have led me to where I am today. My experience as a working professional, as someone who continues to live with a long term medical condition, my experience in ministry, and in working with people who suffer with burdens that hold them back in life, all contribute to who I am today.

How about you? What’s your calling? What kinds of experiences have you had? How have they made you stronger? How have they held you back? What kinds of tools do you have to deal with the issues that life hands us every day? Do you recognize the fruits of the Spirit in your own life and in the lives of others around you?

I share some of the meditation listening tools I’ve learned and practice in my book, Christian Tantric Meditation guide. The book provides exercises for learning to listen to ourselves and the world around us, listening to the Spirit that is all around us and within us, and listening to others. The practice involves letting go of desires, resentments, and fears, so that we can increase our feelings of freedom, love, and faith, and grow our compassion for ourselves and others.

I also share meditation and Cognitive Behavioral tools in therapeutic groups and in individual one on one sessions. I’m currently offering free workshops to introduce Christian Tantric meditative listening practices to anyone who is interested in letting go of burdens, resentments and fears that hold them back, increasing their sense of freedom, love, and faith, and increasing compassion for self and others.

My rates are very reasonable, I’m available on evenings and weekends, and I’d really like to meet you and hear your story. Whether you buy the book or call for individual or group sessions, there’s a blessing waiting for you. Visit my website at, and give me a call. Have a blessed day!