Engaging Mindfulness, Spirituality, and Faith for Liberation and Creative Awakening
Category Archives: Prayer
Christmas Meditation Prayer Gift
This Holiday Season, we are grateful to be blessed with friends who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Athiest-Humanist, Gay, Straight, and from many continents and many walks of life.
We were recently reminded that Jesus the Christ was born a Middle Eastern Jewish child who was raised speaking Aramaic, which was an early form of present day Arabic. May we come full circle in recognizing that we are all God’s Children, all Beloved, and all Brothers and Sisters.
Meditation can be described and used as a form of listening prayer. As a gift to all who read this blog, we have condensed the entire Christian Tantric Meditation process into prayer form. We hope this prayer inspires healing, peace, and gratitude in a world that sorely needs hope.
Gracious God, Merciful Allah, Bountiful Universe,
Please receive this offering of the desires of my mind, that my mind might be clear to discern your Holy Presence.
Please receive this offering of the resentments and attachments in my heart, that my heart might be open to receive your Unconditional Love.
Please receive this offering of the fears and burdens in my core, that my core might be empty to receive your Boundless Strength.
Gracious God, Merciful Allah, Bountiful Universe,
Please fill my mind with your Infinite Awareness, that I may fully experience your Bountiful gift of Life
Please fill my heart with your healing Grace, that my heart may overflow with your Love.
Please fill my Core with your Strength and Wisdom, that I may be filled with your Peace
Gracious God, Merciful Allah, Bountiful Universe,
Please open my mind to the suffering of others, that I may be moved to Compassion, even as you are Compassionate.
Please open my heart to the brokenness of others, that I may be a Hopeful Healing Presence, even as you are a Hopeful Healing Presence
Please open my core to the fears of others, that I may be Merciful towards others, even as you are Merciful.
Is World Peace Possible? Eleven Ecumenical “Guidelines” from Jesus of Nazareth
Jesus of Nazareth is respected worldwide as a prophet and teacher of universal love and peace. Often quoted by Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, and in the Quran, Jesus is respected by people of many faiths including Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jewish people, and Humanists.
Christians believe that Jesus is God Incarnate, who came to earth in the flesh to share God’s message of unconditional love for all of humanity and creation.
A lot of time and effort and money is put into arguing about displaying the Jewish Ten Commandments in public places in the United States. What many people don’t realize is that Christian Scripture provides Commandments also. In Matt 5:19, Jesus introduces His commandments to His followers and the world.
As it turns out, Jesus’ “commandments” are also a prescription for healthy living, in Peace and Harmony with one’s self, others, in our families, in our communities, and World Wide. Many of these commandments are echoed in holy scriptures from other faiths as well. For anyone who desires #WorldPeace, these words that Jesus shares are a good place to start.
Many of these commandments are prefaced with “you have heard it said”, followed by “but I say [do this]”. This is how Jesus “fulfills the law” (Matt 5:17), by sharing the way that He believes the Jewish laws, the laws of His culture, should be interpreted. Using this as a guideline for reading through chapters 5, 6, and 7 of the Christian book of Matthew, 11 commandments emerge. These commandments are summarized below:
Matt 5:21-26Make peace with others, including family and strangers.
Matt 5:27-30Respect others, do not view others as objects, sexual or otherwise.
Matt 5:31-32Keep your promises, especially promises to be true and faithful to your spouse or significant other.
Matt 7:6-20Be careful whom you trust. Not everyone thinks and acts they way they present themselves to others.
Matt 7:21-27Be Trustworthy. Be a person who thinks, acts, and speaks with integrity and consistency.
These guidelines are more than prescriptions for health and happiness, they are also prescriptions for success. Think of people you know, people whom you have worked with, employers you have worked for, or people who have been in your employment. People who are kind, trustworthy, slow to anger and quick to forgive, generally make better employees, employers, better partners and spouses, and better human beings.
These guidelines are great, but they can also be very difficult to follow. As humans, we are filled with pain and resentments, and desires and fears, These desires, resentments, and fears often influence our thinking, our actions, our relationships, and our health. And the sources of these negative influences in our lives are often buried so deep we don’t even know they are within us, in our minds, hearts, and cores.
So what can we do to “let go” of these negative influences that hold us back, that keep us from being the “best we can be?” How can we do our part to promote peace, love, and understanding in the world?
We obviously need to let go of the burdens and fears that plague us. People of faith often say that “prayer is the answer”, which is true. One particular form of prayer that can be very effective is what I call a “listening prayer”, also known as Meditation. Meditation provides a method for listening to ourselves, to our “Higher Power”, and for “letting go” of things that hold us back.
Christian Tantric Meditation is specifically designed to help us to listen to ourselves and let go of the desires, resentments, and fears and burdens that hold us back. Along with letting go of burdens, Christian Tantric Meditation techniques are designed to help us grow closer to our Higher Power, and our own Divine nature, yielding self confidence. Our most advanced techniques help us to be more compassionate towards ourselves and others.
If you are interested in learning more about Christian Tantric Meditation, Atlanta area classes are being offered in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. Registration is open now, visit our website for more information and to register on line. The book Christian Tantric Meditation Guide is also available through Amazon.com and local bookstores.
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 Amazon.com in Kindle and paperback editions. Form more information visit ecumenicalwellness.org.
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 ecumenicalwellness.org 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!