Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Benefits of Spiritual Coaching: Clarifying Confusion

Change your thinking, change your life you heard one day.  Ok, great, you thought to yourself, I am ready.  You took CSL101, Foundations class and became a member of the Center.  Then you took the Power of Your Word course and began to use our form of affirmative prayer, praying and praying often, for yourself and others.  Ultimately, you began to spend more time consciously aware of your communion with the Divine through prayer in all areas of your life.
One of my teachers, Adyashanti, is a big proponent of meditation, and for extended periods of time too!  He once told me that meditation is easy when you’re on “the cushion,” in the privacy of your own home without the distractions of the external world.  Your REAL meditation begins “off the cushion,” out in the world. So there it is!
I have found the same to be true for prayer.  In my conscious and sacred time of communion (on the cushion) with the Divine, prayer is deliciously different.  REAL prayer begins when I am out in the world (off the cushion), still delicious and an entirely different experience.  Can I access that sacred, prayerful state in all that I think, in all that I say and in all that I do?  Even in the face of adversity?  Even in the face of THAT?  Yes, especially in the face of THAT.
Onto one of the pitfalls, or common areas of confusion that I have discovered on my own and in the lives of others who I have coached on the spiritual path.  And that is in thinking that we need only pray, and then wait.  Here’s the absurdity with that...if your prayer includes the desire for transformation in relationship, maybe you are seeking that right and perfect romantic partner, your soulmate.  So you pray and then spend your spare time sitting on the couch in front of the television or reading a book alone...thinking the soulmate is going to materialize in your living room or come knocking on your door.  I’m not saying that is not a possibility, or that it cannot happen that way.  I am saying that there may be work for you to do out in the world, off the cushion, as it were.  Such as saying yes to attend a party your friend is throwing or attending other events you are drawn to say yes to attending and then being open to the possibilities the Universe provides.  
And believe me, the Universe ALWAYS provides.
We have a saying that you may have heard in Religious Science as follows: “treat and move your feet.”  This is to say pray, and then do the work necessary to create an environment wherein your prayers may be answered.  If you wanted to grow corn, you wouldn’t plant your seeds in the carpet of your living room.
Go get ‘em!  Much Love to you on your path.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Benefits of Spiritual Coaching: Opening to Love Through Prayer

When you find the right spiritual coach for you and begin to have spiritual coaching sessions you will receive prayer at the end of your session.  How can the prayers of another person transform you?  In ministerial school we were taught that it has to do with quantum physics and non-locality.  What’s known here, can also be known there, and a quantum leap can occur.  
I lived in a small country town growing up with lots of fields of weeds.  In the summertime there was always a big fire scare.  Some of my early childhood memories are of watching my neighbors standing on their rooftops and hosing them down so that the fire would be less likely to jump over and burn down their homes.  I always thought it was an odd thing to do.  Until I witnessed it myself.  
There was a fire burning on the right side of the street through the field of weeds and and then suddenly, just before my eyes, the field to the left side of the street was ablaze.  While there were other elements likely present such as just the right amount of wind and the weather being just hot enough outside for the leap to occur.  My point here is that it was not continuous.  A leap occurred from one thing to the next.
At some point in time there was one spark at exactly the right moment which caused a leap across the time and space of the road to ignite itself in the field on the other side of the road.  I believe the very same to be true when being prayed for/with by another.
Sometimes we can be so involved and attached to our situation, issue, condition, etc., that it is all that we can focus on.  Like when you have a sore throat and keep swallowing to see if it is still sore.  Discussing with a spiritual coach can assist you in opening up to the Love that you are.  Your coach will see the Truth of Love and  assist, guide and direct you to see just beyond the facts of your experience into something more real than anything in physical form.  
Additionally, you might begin to pray on you own.  When you pray about anything you are communing with an invisible presence that you know is real.  This holy time creates an opening in your heart and mind to see things differently, detaching you from the story around it all and propelling you up to higher ground. It’s where you belong.  It’s what you deserve.  Love,  that is.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Benefits of Spiritual Coaching: Where to Begin

IIf you've ever set out to do something in your life you've likely done some research on it.  

For example, making a conscious choice for a healthy lifestyle.  You know you've got to let go of some bad habits, change your eating patterns and exercise.  But what should you start eating?  Stop eating?  Moderate eating?  What kind of exercise ought you do?  
So you choose to go to the gym and get a membership.  Yes!  You're committed, enthusiastic and on your way.  You arrive at the gym and are slightly overwhelmed by all the machines you see...treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, free weights, ab machines, chest press machines, leg press machines, bicep machines, rowing machines and classes, classes, classes...shall you take yoga? Spinning? Zumba? Hip hop dance?  Body conditioning?    Or boot camp?  Pilates? Low impact cardio? Aqua fit? Step class? U-Jam? Trx or pmax? What do those acronyms mean anyway?  Kranking? Kickboxing?  The list goes on and on!
Thoroughly worked out mentally you feel exhausted and choose to cut to the chase and head for the jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.  Ahhh.  Workout complete!
Exhausted, you make your way home and into bed for a good night's sleep.  The thought of having a trainer of sorts to guide and direct you through the gym crosses your mind as you drift off into your slumber.
The same can be true for your conscious choice to expand, deepen, revisit, or explore your spirituality and find a deeper connection with the Divine.
You arrive at the Center for Spiritual Living or other temple of your choice, seeking to know more, faced with a similar experience...classes, classes, classes...Practical Mysticism, The Power of Your Word, Meditation, This Thing Called You, Foundations, Beyond Limits, Roots, The Dore Lectures, The Hidden Brain, The Bhagavad Gita, Metaphysical Bible, Finding a Love Partner, Prayer and Pilates, Creative Brilliance, Opulent Creative, Financial Freedom, 5 Gift for an Abundant Life, the list goes on and on and where oh where to begin?  Books, there are so may of them...and events, retreats, Gourmets for God, Heart Space Service, Wednesday Night Live, Youth and Family, Volunteering, Outreach, etc.  This place is thriving with offerings to deepen, grow and expand...
Additionally you heard some principles mentioned by the Speaker at the Sunday service which resonated with you but you have questions about them, how do they apply to me and my life, what does God mean to me, where do I begin?  
In the same way that there are Personal Trainers available to you at the gym, there are spiritual trainers, guides, or coaches, to assist you along the way at the Center for Spiritual Living.  A spiritual coach will guide, coach and pray with you, provide you with tools and direction to navigate this newly discovered or re-discovered world.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Benefits of Spiritual Coaching: What I Learned at the Center for Spiritual Living

My first three Sundays at the Center for Spiritual Living, San Jose were epic to say the least.  Having built a spiritual foundation in Recovery I was ecstatic to find a spiritual community wherein the Spiritual Director and other leaders seemed to be in full alignment with all that I was learning.  I remember hearing so much in the first three sermons delivered by Dr. David Bruner.  
One thing I learned at the Center was that "there is a power for good in the Universe and I could use it." [Ernest Holmes] This altered my perception of life as I knew it and the way I moved through the world.  Wait, are you saying that life is not happening to me?  If there is a power for Good in the universe and I can use it, does that mean it’s not using me, attempting to destroy me?   Yes, I had many misunderstandings and my spiritual coach walked me through this one, and more. 
"God is personal to all who feel this indwelling presence."  This was a major turning point that changed my life.  In recovery, just about everyone is in the process of discovering or re-discovering what their “higher power” is.  There was a running joke about having it be the door knob, or the people in the group, even Starbucks.  Thinking it to be something outside of myself like a big daddy in the sky simply wasn’t resonating with me.  I just did not understand yet what God was or meant to me, until I arrived at the Center in San Jose.  My spiritual coach walked me through this one too.
"There is a place inside of everyone that has never been harmed, hurt, or wronged in any way."   [Dr.David Bruner] Sure, everyone but me, I thought.  Wait, am I included in the everyone referred to here?  If that was true and that place is within me then I can access it.  I can do more than access it, I can dwell in it.  In fact, I would like to dwell in it and allow myself some respite and relaxation.  I took comfort in this space within me which I was never conscious of before and it became my own personal spa for the soul.
I began to attend services regularly and found myself wondering how this man was so darn happy.  I became committed to discovering the secret to happiness that seemed to be the way of life inside of Religious Science.  I enrolled in Foundations to learn the basics and then I had to be there every Sunday to see my new friends and hear the message.  I didn’t want to miss any of it. 
Soon I made a powerful connection with one of the practitioners, Marilyn Pelz.  I set up a meeting with her, not knowing what to expect, and she was very open, kind, and a great listener.  At the end of the session she prayed with me and it was a very powerful experience.  I floated out of the Center and believed that I was well on my way to discovering a deeper level of happiness in my life.  Eagerly I setup another appointment, and then another and another.  She became my spiritual guide, walking with me on my journey inward, shining the light on everything within.  Healing, revealing, affirming, praying, and opening up to love are only a few things that occurred in my sessions with Marilyn; which created the real possibility for me of enjoying my life and presence on this planet.  A life that I truly love.  A life of happiness. 
This is only a touch of what I have learned at the Center for Spiritual Living.  The benefits of spiritual coaching touched upon here are life altering changes in my belief system.  I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Benefits of Spiritual Coaching: Why Spiritual Coaching?

Spiritual Coaching is a powerful experience that can assist you in the transformation of your life.  There is an unlimited supply for Good in the Universe and you ought to have it.  Whether your current experience has you at rock bottom in your life or at the top of your game, there’s room for growth and expansion in all areas.  You may say, “my life is so great, I have no complaints and no desire for transformation.”  To which I respond “if there were a 30 foot pot filled with gold just in front of you, would you not want to walk over and get some of it?”

This Universe is a goldmine and you did not land in the Earth suit as an individual expression of the Divine to simply accept what is even if it is un-desirable.  Don’t get me wrong, acceptance is a powerful tool which I will delve into later.  Thriving is how I believe your life ought to be and ought continue to be.

Sometimes we can get stuck in the rut of our day to day lives focused on getting through the workday, feeding the family, grocery shopping, picking up the kids from the babysitter, laundry, housework, banking, treating our partners with attention, love and affection and getting enough sleep to wake up the next morning and do it all again.  When our lives are so busy we may forget that we are creating our futures in the now.  By creating our future in the now we live into that future, thereby experiencing it here and now.  Kind of like planning for a vacation.

One hour per week of spiritual coaching allows for time to connect with the deeper parts of yourself that can’t be easily contacted in the busy-ness of your life.  It’s an opportunity to really think about the experience you desire for yourself in your life, opening up the creative channels and creating a shift in consciousness that will move you from surviving to thriving.

A spiritual coach can guide you on this inward journey, providing tools to use throughout the week and accountability to ensure that you are headed in the direction of your dreams.  Your spiritual coach will also assist you in uncovering hidden fears and beliefs and work with you on creating new beliefs through prayer, affirmations, spiritual practices, and chants created specifically for you.

A Mindful Moment

I shined the light on the shadow and the shadow disappeared. This would be a great song lyric. It reminded me of being in Nevada as a young ...