Category Archives: Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Discernment

Hello everyone, my name is Dave Miller, I am director of Sacred Breeze Ministries at where we provide instruction and resources for meditation, spiritual discernment, and inclusive faith communities.

We continue to live in interesting times.  We live with the threat of a virus that continues to infect and kill people every day.  Our justice systems continue to discriminate based on skin color, often with deadly results.  And people who speak out for justice in a peaceful manner continue to be victimized by false information and violence incited by factions who do not want justice and peace. 

We are ever reminded that while we may speak out, while we may be present, and while we may have hearts that long for love, justice, and peace, we cannot control the thoughts or actions of others. 

Where do we go for shelter?  Where can we find peace?  How can we recharge our Spiritual batteries so that we can find the strength to carry on?

Today I want to talk about Spiritual Discernment, and I’m going to do so by considering 4 questions.

Why would someone seek Spiritual Discernment?

How is Spiritual Discernment different than MH Therapy?

Why explore Spiritual Discernment with Sacred Breeze Ministries and Dave Miller?

How do I get started?

So, for the first question, why do people seek spiritual discernment, there are several reasons.  The first reason that comes to mind, which is very much connected to the challenges we face today, is to explore some of the Big Questions that life throws at us.  Questions like Why am I here?  What is my purpose?  Why do people suffer and die?   Is God Real?  How can I connect with my Higher Power? And How can I make a difference? Spiritual Discernment seeks out the answers to these and other questions that the Spirit, with a capital S, may reveal within the hearts and minds of the seekers.

Another reason people engage in Spiritual Discernment is to try and understand conflicting messages they have received over a lifetime regarding God and Spirituality.  We receive many messages every day, from friends, family, from all of the religions and cultures and identities we participate in, from circumstances and events both positive and negative that happen in our lives, and from some place deep within us. Not surprisingly, sometimes these messages conflict with one another.  Spiritual Discernment seeks out the authentic message that the Spirit, with a capital S, has for the seeker.

And while I’m on the subject, I have a special message for LGBTQ people.  You are perfect just as you are, just as God made you to be.  Many faith traditions have made life very hard for LGBTQ people and their families.  Traditional roles are often assigned to people based on physical attributes.  When approached from a Spiritual perspective, all faith traditions call us to be true to each our own authentic Spiritual identity, whatever that may be.  And that is part of the Spiritual Discernment practice, to help people to discern and celebrate each our own unique and wonderful and beloved Spiritual identity. 

So far, we’ve talked about discussing big questions and conflicts in Spiritual discernment sessions.  Often people come to Spiritual Discernment with heavy burdens that they may have been carrying for years, including feelings of grief or guilt or shame.  This especially is an area where Spiritual Discernment sessions can be helpful.  This is also an area where there may be some crossover with mental health counseling. And this is an important distinction to make.

Spiritual Discernment sessions are different than Mental Health therapy sessions in several important ways.  During mental health sessions, specific pathologies are addressed, including depression, anxiety, and addiction.  Feelings of grief, guilt, and shame are often intertwined in these pathologies.  If underlying issues that require Mental Health counseling are brought up during Spiritual Discernment sessions, we discuss referral to a licensed therapist in the state or location where the seeker resides.

Whereas mental health therapy sessions include established treatment modalities such as cognitive behavioral and dialectical therapies, Spiritual Discernment sessions discuss how Spirituality may be part of releasing burdens and accepting healing Grace.

Another way Spiritual discernment is different from mental health counseling is in how often sessions occur.  Usually, mental health sessions are weekly and last for perhaps 8 to 12 weeks or more.  Spiritual discernment may begin with a couple weekly sessions to get acquainted, but usually continue meeting less frequently, once per month or so.  Whereas mental health therapy usually concludes after 2 to 3 months, spiritual discernment sessions may continue on as long as the seeker finds value in the discussions. 

Mental health therapy practice is limited by law to the state in which the client is physically located.  On line Spiritual discernment sessions are available to anyone anywhere. 

So, now that we’ve discussed why people seek out spiritual discernment, the next question is why explore Spiritual Discernment with Sacred Breeze Ministries. 

It is important to know that there are no credentialing requirements for Spiritual Directors or Spiritual Discernment companions.  A seeker must verify a potential provider’s education, experience, and religious or philosophical affiliations.  Registration on sites like Spiritual Directors International is just that, registration, with no verification of qualifications.  And perhaps most importantly, a person seeking help has no way of knowing whether the potential provider is willing to walk with the client, or whether the provider will be pushing a “one size fits all” agenda, theology, or philosophy.

Speaking for myself, Dave Miller, I have a Master’s degree in Theological Studies from Emory University, and a Master’s degree in Community counseling. I’ve studied Buddhism, and I have read many diverse Sacred writings, including the Jewish and Christian bibles, the Quran, the Gita, Upanishads, Rumi, and the sacred writings of Japan just to name a few. 

I have worked as both a licensed therapist and as a Director of Spiritual Discernment in private practice and in addiction recovery settings.  I have served as lay minister in various church settings, including the United Methodist Church.  I consider myself an inclusive Buddheo-Christian, which means I connect with both the Buddhist philosophy of reducing suffering and Christian message of unconditional love as revealed in the Fruits of the Spirit. I actually love exploring the diverse ways people experience Spirit, and I have worked with Christians, Buddhists, Jewish people and Muslims, neo-Pagans, Wiccans, and others in a nonjudging supportive manner.  I celebrate diversity of all kinds. 

My approach to Spiritual Discernment is one of open-minded listening, and accompanying the seeker on a journey of discovery. People connect with Spirit in a variety of ways, some connect through nature, others through prayer and meditation, and others connect through social interaction. The ways the Spirit communicates are as varied and diverse as humanity is.  My job is to help seekers to connect with Authentic Spirit in the way that suits and applies to them. 

We also have other Spiritual Discernment helpers available on the website, for more information about them, please explore their biographies.

How do I get started with Spiritual Discernment sessions?  To get started, simply send me an email to initiate contact.  My email is  From there, we can discuss whether individual or group sessions best suit you. 

For a limited time, I am going to be offering free Spiritual Discernment group sessions on Wednesday evenings at 8:00 PM Eastern United States time.  Both group and individual sessions usually last 50 minutes to an hour.  And as I said previously, usually Spiritual Discernment sessions happen only once per month after the relationship is established.  I use Google meet for sessions, which means that I will email you a meeting link to click on to get connected.  You will need access to the internet and a computer with a mic and camera in order to meet. 

So, if you are interested in exploring this further drop me an email, I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Have a Blessed Day.

Christian Tantric Meditation Saturday March 10th

I’d like to share a prayer that I think illustrates the benefits of Christian Tantric Meditation practice:

Lord, accept our offering of our fears, that our faith and self confidence may flourish. Lord, accept our offering of our resentments, that we may fully experience love and compassion for ourselves and for others. Lord, accept our offering of our distractions, that we may explore, enjoy, and share the creative gifts we have been blessed with. Lord, open our eyes, ears, and hearts, to your Presence within and all around us.  Amen.”

With that, we are again happy to remind everyone that we will be offering a series of four Christian Tantric Meditation classes in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains beginning next week Saturday March 10th.   This is a rare opportunity to experience all four phases of the Christian Tantric Meditation protocol in a low cost short series of classes on Saturdays.  The traditional Wellness based Christian Tantric Meditation protocol will be offered from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM. Our location is in Sautee Georgia which is near Helen Georgia, about an hour from Gwinnett and about 1.5 hours from Metro Atlanta.

Tantric Meditation techniques and Christian Contemplative perspectives are explored in the classes.  Our wellness meditation classes teach skills for dealing with stress and increasing enjoyment of life and personal freedom through letting go of negative thoughts and emotions.    Classes also explore increasing Spirituality and exercising Compassion with healthy boundaries for self and others.  People who are new to meditation and people who are experienced with meditation find our classes helpful.

Walk in registrations are welcome, or visit our Workshops page and sign up on line, or call 678-358-8775.  Our rates are very reasonable, 20.00 for a class.  Our schedule is flexible, so if you will be unable to attend four weekends in a row, don’t let that stop you from participating, we can schedule make up sessions and extend the classes into April as necessary.

Also, if anyone is interested in participating in on line classes, please let me know, if there is enough interest we will schedule those as well.  Since this will be our first attempt at on line classes we will offer reduced rates also as we will be working out the process.  Call  678-358-8775 or visit our Workshops page.

Have a Blessed Day!


Hope in a Weary World

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. And this year it’s not about the bustle of the Holidays and Christmas shopping, if anything those activities were a welcome distraction.

After a year of  extreme politics and further division within the USA, rising deficit and threats against health insurance,  I for one am just tired.

As I look back to the events that have led to where we are, I remember the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.  I remember videos of terrorist attrocities in the Middle East.  I remember US cabinet members laughing and clapping when a Middle Eastern leader was killed, and most of all I remember angry people arguing politics, myself among them.

It occurred to me that we are a Nation and a World that is constantly dealing with both primary and secondary traumatic stress.  And we are dealing with these stresses not only as individuals, but as communities, as nations, and as a world community of human beings.

There is a phrase from old Western movies that applies to how communities deal with traumatic stress: “circling the wagons.”  We form groups of like minded people with the intent of protecting ourselves and our families.

Both ancient and modern history are filled with examples of communities experiencing extreme stress and trauma, pulling together, rallying around a common identity, be it ethnic or religious or nationalistic, becoming powerful, and in turn becoming the source of stress and trauma towards neighboring communities.  Eventually, someone stronger always comes along and the cycle begins again.  Trauma, circle the wagons, gain power, cause trauma, and then experience oppression and trauma all over again.

At Christmas time, the world celebrates the birth of a man called Jesus.  I say the world because at this point in human history, with few exceptions, everyone is pretty much aware of everything, including the origins of the Christian religion and culture.  I say the man Jesus because the humanity of Jesus is something we all have in common.  Jewish people may view Jesus as a historical Rabbi, Buddhists and Hindus may view Jesus as an Enlightened Being, Muslims may view Jesus as a revered Prophet, and Christians view Jesus as both Human and Divine.

Enlightened, Prophet, Human, Divine, Personal Savior, or anointed Christ, however we view Jesus, the words and teachings attributed to this person are what is left for us in the 21st century to read, share, interpret, and draw inspiration from.

2000 years ago, Jesus’ words and teachings inspired a group of people, human beings, to become  followers.  These human followers of Jesus the Christ also experienced extreme trauma, at the hands of a government, specifically the Roman government who had power at the time.  And like human communities have done since the beginning of time, the followers of Jesus the Christ reacted by circling the wagons.   They focusing on mutual care of each other, they comforted families who lost loved ones to the Roman Government’s systematic oppression, they cared for each other, and they talked about ways to deal with the stress of living in the traumatic world they lived in.

They also turned to the teachings of Jesus the Christ whom they followed for guidance.  And in those teachings, they learned of the repeated history of violence, conquering, and being conquered.  And they saw the alternative message that Jesus taught: demonstrate our love of God through loving each other, loving neighbors, and even loving the oppressive enemies.

So, instead of gathering weapons and power, these followers of Jesus the Christ offered love and help to their Roman neighbors.  They bound wounds, offered medicine and a kind presence to people who were sick, they loved their neighbors, they loved their enemies, and they prayed and worshiped together, reminding each other that though the path they chose did not make sense in a world of “fight power with power,” this was the path that Jesus of Nazareth lived and taught.

The world is still a dark place, people are still circling wagons and gathering resources to hide or fight.  But Christmas is a reminder, a still small voice, a voice so small it is symbolized in  the presence of an infant child, calling us to a path of Grace.  A small voice reminding us that peace is possible, we don’t need to react with anger and violence, we can choose to be loving and caring instead, even with those we perceive as enemies.

It is my fervent wish this year that even in the midst of darkness and conflict, even with memories of trauma and fear either fresh or distant in our minds, experienced first hand or vicariously through social and broadcast media, we think of this infant, this prophet, this enlightened one, this Jesus who is called Christ, and remind ourselves that even as we circle our wagons, we can choose to share peace and kindness with others, even others we don’t know or feel suspicious about.

I’m going to follow this thought with a challenge.  For those who are able, if you find yourself sitting in a drive through window waiting for coffee or a meal, consider buying the coffee or meal for the car in line behind you.  It’s a way of sharing that does not judge, and does not expect a reward or even a thank you.  Catch the Spirit of Christmas, offer up a gift of kindness.  The family in the car behind you may be Jewish, Christian, may be Muslim, may be Buddhist or Hindu.  They may be black, they may be white, they may be Hispanic or Asian, they may be Gay or Straight.  They may be living in poverty or blessed with great wealth. They may be politically conservative or liberal; they may be a member of the law enforcement community or they may be struggling with legal issues.  No matter what their race, culture, or circumstance, they are human, and they are loved, even as we are loved.  Share the Love.

May All People experience a Merry Christmas, a Blessed Holiday, and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year.

Spiritual Discernment, Peace Gathering, and Meditation Classes

At Sunrise Meditation and Counseling, we provide counseling services, meditation classes, and Spiritual Discernment services.  Whereas counseling is primarily focused on healthy thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, Spiritual Discernment addresses questions of deeper meaning.  Questions like what is my place in the Universe?  Am I alone?  Is there a God?  What does God want me to do with my life? Is God on my side, against me, or does God even care?  What will happen to me and my loved ones after we die?  Is healing possible for me and my loved ones?

lotus-1205631_1280Like in counseling, good Spiritual Discernment helps people to find their own answers in a supportive, safe, non-judging environment.  We all bring different thoughts and feelings to the table regarding God, Spirituality, and the Universe.  The ideas we bring are based on our religious backgrounds, our cultural backgrounds, and our personal experiences with our families and friends. Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Atheist, something completely different, or some mix of several faiths, we all have unique takes on what it means to be human on this planet and in this Universe.  For people of faith, there is often a still, small voice, a calling, a higher power, or an intuition that helps guide us through life and the big and small questions that come with life.

My personal beliefs are Christian, and it’s my experience that the Spirit speaks through many avenues if we have ears, eyes, hearts, and the courage to listen.  The Spirit also speaks through all traditions and cultures.  No belief or idea is “too weird” or “unorthodox” to share in a Spiritual Discernment session.

The one guideline I share regarding the presence of the Spirit in life or in a decision is to lookdove-41260__180 for the fruits of the Spirit.  Love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control are the fruits of the Spirit as described in the Christian tradition, and I believe this applies universally.

To celebrate Spirituality in a safe group environment, Sunrise Meditation and Counseling will again begin a weekly Peace Gathering starting Thursday September 7th, after Labor Day weekend.  The gathering will begin at 6:00 pm and last less than an hour.  The format will include a time of gathering, a time of sharing brief inspirational thoughts and readings, a time of contemplative silence, and a time for closure.  There will be no cost for attending, but donations will be accepted.

logolargerWe will also begin another round of Christian Tantric Meditation workshops beginning Saturday September 9th from 10:00-11:30AM.  This is a four class program that introduces several meditation techniques, including breath centered mind stabilization, self emptying, Divine Communion as a form of guru yoga, and Compassion outreach meditation.  If you are interested but unable to attend four weekends in a row, we are flexible, our classes often take 6 to 8 weeks to complete based on the schedules of the participants.  Now is the time to manage stress, let go of some of the luggage that holds you back, and connect with your true potential.

Our workshops cost 25.00 each, and a 20.00 discount is available for registering and paying for all 4 classes in advance.

For more information or to register for a Workshop or an Individual Therapeutic or Spiritual Discernment Session, visit our Contact and Registration page  or call 678-358-8775.

Meditation Workshops in Sautee Georgia

logolargerSunrise Meditation and Counseling Offering Weekend Workshops in North Georgia Mountains


Contact: Dave Miller, Director
Ecumenical Christian Wellness Ministries

Sautee Nacoochee, Ga – May 22, 2015

Ecumenical Christian Wellness Ministries is pleased to announce the opening of Sunrise Meditation and Counseling in Sautee, Georgia. The new center is located in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains near Helen Georgia at: 2276 Highway 17, Suite E, Sautee, Georgia 30571

The new center offers Meditation Workshops, Individual Counseling Therapy, Spiritual Discernment, and Outpatient Recovery Workshops.

The Meditation Workshops will be based on Dave Miller’s book, “Christian Tantric Meditation Guide” available at CTM uses a Christian Perspective to describe Meditation practices of Mindfulness, Self Emptying, Divine Communion, and Compassion Training.

When asked who would find these workshops valuable, Miller replied “anyone who is dealing with stress, experiences barriers to personal growth, desires to grow Spiritually, or desires to increase their compassion toward self and others.

About Dave Miller

Dave Miller is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor, with Master’s degrees in Community Counseling and Theological Studies. As a Lay Minister and Counselor, Dave has worked in Recovery, Mental Health, Judicial, and Church settings. His training and experience in Counseling and Christian Ministry, combined with his studies in Tantric meditation techniques, all contributed to the publication of his book “Christian Tantric Meditation Guide.” Dave also holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from Milwaukee School of Engineering.

About Sunrise Meditation and Counseling:

Sunrise Meditation and Counseling is a ministry of Ecumenical Christian Wellness Ministries LLC, visit, or call 678-358-8775.