Let Love Lead You

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“Death is no more than passing from one room into another.” – Helen Keller

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PODCAST version of Today’s Contemplation: click HERE.

Listen to my song “Love Will Always Lead You Home” on YouTube by clicking HERE.

My albums and books Mercy Reigns & Listen to Your Heart are available for purchase HERE. Also available on Amazon.

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Ecclesiastes 1:11

There is no remembrance of past generations; nor will future generations be remembered by those who come after them.

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Today’s scripture verse is the ending of the passage that begins with: “Vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!”

The point being: Everything in this world of form passes away and disintegrates.

No one will be remembered given enough passage of time.

And that’s pretty true!

How sad if this was really all there is!

So, let’s talk about the “d” word: Death.

The very thing our culture abhors and tries to ignore is the very key to life!

Everything on Earth — and throughout the entire cosmos as best we can tell — goes through a birth-to-death cycle.

And the very means by which the Great Mystery creates is through this death-to-life-to-death-to-life process.

In Christianity, Jesus shows us that death is not final. Love triumphs.

Just like Jesus, we all will survive physical death.

As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

Near Death Experiencers are affirming that we come to inhabit these physical bodies and then we return to the heavenly realm.

Who knows how many such realms there are?

But those who have suffered clinical death and then experienced the Light and then returned to their resuscitated bodies again tell of a deeper experience of love than they can describe.

The real point being: These bodies we inhabit will die; but our spirits – our souls – will go on.

Jesus wanted us to know that dying was a part of everyday life.

As he put it: Lose your life to find your life (Matthew 16:25).

Jesus also said: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12:24).

When we let go of our ego-driven desires, our soul’s desires surface.

Your true self begins to live.

It’s always been there buried under layers of masks that your false self created.

You begin to channel the Love-that-you-are into this realm.

And what Jesus called the kingdom of God comes alive in the here-and-now.

This, my friend, is why you’re here.

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Listen to the song of the day “Love Will Always Lead You Home” on the Mercy Reigns album by clicking HERE.

Purchase my albums/CDs and books by clicking HERE.

Stream and/or purchase my songs on Amazon Music by clicking HERE.

Remember: God loves you!

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Oneness

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“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.” – Alan Watts

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PODCAST version of Today’s Contemplation: click HERE.

Listen to my song “All Are One” on YouTube by clicking HERE.

My albums and books Mercy Reigns & Listen to Your Heart are available for purchase HERE. Also available on Amazon.

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1 Corinthians 12:12

As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ.

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The mystics and the saints down through the ages all understood what St. Paul states here.

While the world appears to be made up of lots of separation, lots of contrast, lots of this and that, the mystics see those as illusions.

The truth is that it’s all one.

We appear as individual parts, but we are actually parts of one body which St. Paul simply calls Christ.

This is more than the historical Jesus.

Christ is much larger if you will.

It’s the energizing entity that holds all things together.

We come from Oneness and will return to Oneness.

When all is seen and experienced as One there is harmony.

That’s the transformative journey we are meant to have.

In heaven there are no challenges; no obstacles.

In this earthly realm, however, we each get the opportunity to experience separation.

Our egos build whole false selves out of the experience of being set apart from everyone else.

It’s part of the exercise of living a human life on planet Earth.

What Jesus and other enlightened people throughout history wanted us to learn was that we are all actually one.

All seemingly-separate-things are actually in communion.

Bread and wine are one with Jesus’ body and blood.

I remember the first man I prayed with while training for chaplaincy. He was on life support in the ICU of a hospital. His eyes were open but he couldn’t speak due to the breathing apparatus affixed to his face.

As my eyes looked into his, there was a mystical moment – or minute – I can’t recall how long, when I realized he was me and I was him.

There was only Christ.

It was the Mystical Oneness of all Life; the “I AM” in its fullness.

As Jesus said, we must lose our life to find our life (Matthew 16:25).

The ego-generated false self must be let-go-of.

This false self is a necessary part of our human journey, but we cannot get attached to it.

It dissolves at physical death, so we might as well die before we die.

For when we let go of the delusional idea of who we are, our true self appears.

As St. Paul also said in Galatians chapter 2 verse 20, “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me.”

So, don’t sweat the small stuff, my friends.

You are an eternal being, one with God, and infinitely loved.

Live in that experience.

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Listen to the song of the day “All Are One” on the Mercy Reigns album by clicking HERE.

Purchase my albums/CDs and books by clicking HERE.

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Remember: God loves you!

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Transformation in Progress

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“Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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PODCAST version of Today’s Contemplation: click HERE.

Listen to my song “Breathe On Me” on YouTube by clicking HERE.

My albums and books Mercy Reigns & Listen to Your Heart are available for purchase HERE. Also available on Amazon.

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1 Corinthians 7:31

For the world in its present form is passing away.

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In my opinion, passages like this have been misinterpreted to our great misfortune.

People have looked at this verse and have taken it to mean that the world is going to disintegrate.

There will be some kind of Armageddon and that will be the end of this planet.

In my opinion, this has led many to act as though the Earth is just something to use and not care for.

It’s just going to go up in smoke one day anyway.

But the bible tells us that God made everything and deemed it good.

And the same story in Genesis tells us that God made humans the stewards of the earth.

That means we are to care for it.

What God has made is sacredevery last bit of it.

All things, at their tiniest molecular level, are energized by the Life-Giving-Force of the Universe.

We and everything else are part of a Grand Whole.

Life here is not meant to be every-person-for-themselves but every-person-for-all.

And by all, I mean the Earth, too.

The world is indeed passing away in its present form.

Everything is.

The basic principle of dying-and-rising is at work.

It’s how things are.

All things in this realm of form come to be and then slowly or quickly dissolve.

But the Life-Giving-Force, the energy that animates our spirit, our soul, our true self, our consciousness, goes on.

Everything is being transformed in the creative process.

We are called to take part in this creativity.

Treasure each moment of this wondrous gift of life on this wondrous planet in this wondrous universe.

And know deeply that it, in its present form, is indeed passing away.

But all the while it is also becoming gloriously more.

And so are you!

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Listen to the song of the day “Breathe On Me” on the Listen to Your Heart album by clicking HERE.

Purchase my albums/CDs and books by clicking HERE.

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Remember: God loves you!

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Shine

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“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

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PODCAST version of Today’s Contemplation: click HERE.

Listen to my song “Sing a New Song” on YouTube by clicking HERE.

My albums and books Mercy Reigns & Listen to Your Heart are available for purchase HERE. Also available on Amazon.

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Psalm 149:1

Sing to the Lord a new song…

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This often-read-line in the psalms again touched my heart in a new way today.

I was also reminded of a quote by the late sage Wayne Dyer who said, “Don’t die with the music still in you.”

I literally took that quote to heart many years ago and started writing the songs that were meant to be channeled through my imperfect vessel.

By the way, there are no perfect vessels.

What makes the song (or any creative expression) so darn wonderful is exactly the imperfection that produced it.

Many would agree that Bob Dylan’s voice is and was far from perfect, but it is and was perfectly Dylan and that’s what makes it so beautiful!

The words were also born through his experience and all the imperfect steps and stumbles along the way.

So perhaps those imperfect steps were perfectly imperfect.

I would say that being perfect or worthy or acceptable has nothing to do with this earthly experience.

As Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

You and I are wondrous spiritual beings of light encased for a time in these wondrously imperfect bodies to explore, love and create.

Do it!

Be you!

Sing your song.

Paint or draw your picture.

Write your book.

Build your whatever.

Share it all with love.

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Listen to the song of the day “Sing a New Song” on the Live to Love album by clicking HERE.

Purchase my albums/CDs and books by clicking HERE.

Stream and/or purchase my songs on Amazon Music by clicking HERE.

Remember: God loves you!

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Reason to Smile

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“God loved us before he made us; and his love has never diminished and never shall.” – Julian of Norwich

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PODCAST version of Today’s Contemplation by clicking HERE.

Listen to my song “Radically Okay” on YouTube by clicking HERE.

My albums and books Mercy Reigns & Listen to Your Heart are available for purchase HERE. Also available on Amazon.

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1 Corinthians 15:21-22

For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life.

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I’ve been absent for a while due to a job change.

I’m now a hospice chaplain.

That probably has something to do with why today’s scripture verse grabbed hold of me.

The truth is: You and I are going to experience bodily death.

That’s right. We are going to die.

But that’s just our physical bodies.

In today’s scripture, St. Paul tells us that while our bodies will die, our souls, our spirit-selves, will not.

The word “Adam” means son of the Earth in Hebrew.

Our bodies are part of the Earth and also part of the stars.

All of it is sacred as it is all created by God.

It’s all connected and part of a greater Whole.

We are in God in a mystical way.

As St. Paul put it, we live and move and have our being in God (Acts 17:28).

So, there really is no death.

Just the body will dissolve.

But the soul, the spirit, will go on.

As St. Paul put it, “in Christ shall all be brought to life.”

Christ is more than the historical Jesus.

It’s the essence and energy of life itself.

It’s pure Love.

Life will go on transformed.

Near Death Experiencers have given many testimonies to this.

The bottom line is: Do not fear.

Love is victorious.

Love has the final say.

As the mystic Julian of Norwich was told by Jesus in a vision: “All shall be well.”

Trust that despite those who pedal fear and division, love wins.

It’s all radically okay.

Meditate on that thought today and always.

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Listen to the song of the day “Radically Okay” on the Mercy Reigns album by clicking HERE.

Purchase my albums/CDs and books by clicking HERE.

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Remember: God loves you!

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Grounded in Love

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“All God wants of (human beings) is a peaceful heart.” – Meister Eckhart

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Listen to the PODCAST version of Today’s Contemplation by clicking HERE.

Listen to my song “I Will Give You Rest” on YouTube by clicking HERE.

My albums and books Mercy Reigns & Listen to Your Heart are available for purchase HERE. Also available on Amazon.

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Matthew 11:28-29

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.”

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These are comforting words from Jesus.

He wasn’t about bringing anguish and consternation but peace and calm.

Yes, it’s true that Jesus also brought division, but it wasn’t his doing.

It was due to those reacting against him.

Those who didn’t want to include the outcast, who didn’t want to treat the poor as equals – they were the ones who rejected Jesus and created division.

Jesus was God’s messenger of unconditional love.

Those who held the power usually were not in favor of unconditionally loving those under their rule.

In today’s verses, Jesus is speaking specifically to those burdened by the religious rulers who wielded the law like a baseball bat.

Jesus told those who were being persecuted by the powers that be that his yoke, his words, would lead them to life.

“I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

Jesus did not come to threaten or induce fear.

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).

In other words, that the world might be made whole through him.

Jesus showed us the way to wholeness: the path of self-emptying; losing your life in order to find it.

By letting go of our ego’s control, it may feel like dying, but paradoxically it will lead to you discovering your true self.

You will become the light of love that you were created to be.

That, my friend, is salvation.

May you find hope and rest in these words.

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Listen to the song of the day “I Will Give You Rest” on the Live to Love album by clicking HERE.

Purchase my albums/CDs and books by clicking HERE.

Stream and/or purchase my songs on Amazon Music by clicking HERE.

Remember: God loves you!

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Be Here

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“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

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Listen to the PODCAST version of Today’s Contemplation by clicking HERE.

Listen to my song “Slow Me Down” on YouTube by clicking HERE.

My albums and books Mercy Reigns & Listen to Your Heart are available for purchase HERE. Also available on Amazon.

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Matthew 11:25

Jesus said, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”

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Many times, we are too stuck in our heads.

We want to understand things intellectually.

And, of course, sometimes we do need to use our brains or we wouldn’t survive!

But I think what Jesus was getting at in today’s scripture verse, is that we too often ignore our experience.

Sometimes being intellectually wise stands in the way of what God is trying to reveal.

Many times, God is operating not on our head level but on our heart level.

Those open to life like a child have the advantage.

When you aren’t so trapped in the mind’s inclination to separate and divide the field into neat categories of black or white but are instead open to the experience, then you can often see what the so-called wise are blind to.

When you set aside your constantly-calculating-mind and are simply present to what is, you just may have an awakening.

You just may discover hidden treasures in plain sight.

As Jesus also said: “Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

The kingdom of heaven, or peaceful realm of spacious freedom, is always present to those who are present enough to experience it.

Like a child playing in the mud or gleefully running in a field.

Some meditation practice such as Centering Prayer is helpful.

But all you really have to do, is stop doing, and start being.

Just look.

Listen.

Feel.

Smell.

Breathe.

The kingdom of God is at hand!

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Listen to the song of the day “Slow Me Down” on the Mercy Reigns album by clicking HERE.

Purchase my albums/CDs and books by clicking HERE.

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Remember: God loves you!

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Awaken

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“In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Deepak Chopra

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Listen to the PODCAST version of Today’s Contemplation by clicking HERE.

Listen to my song “Heal Me” on YouTube by clicking HERE.

My albums and books Mercy Reigns & Listen to Your Heart are available for purchase HERE. Also available on Amazon.

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Matthew 10:7-8

Jesus said to his Apostles: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”

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The kingdom of heaven is not for sale.

You can’t purchase it.

You can’t attain it by some quid pro quo act.

You can’t earn or achieve it.

As Jesus told his followers: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

In other words, it’s right here, right now, and it’s absolutely free.

It’s a gift of God.

That’s the Good News, my friend.

You can stop the guilt game, of thinking you aren’t worthy of it.

The kingdom, or peaceful realm, of heaven, or spacious freedom like the vast sky above, is present.

It’s something you can experience now when you are present to it.

Stop your addictive mind and its constant chatter for a moment.

Listen.

(Pause)

In that short space of silence you were no doubt actually present.

Rest in that silence.

Just be.

Some form of meditation such as Centering Prayer is helpful as a way to practice being present.

But you can experience this any time by simply observing what is without commentary.

In this presence, you realize your oneness with the Great I AM.

You are one with Love itself. Remember, God is love (1 John 4:8).

When you channel this love to others you will be opening a place of total acceptance and wholeness.

In this Presence any illness will be what it is, but it will be seen for its finiteness.

Love will overcome it either through a physical healing or through a spiritual healing that will help carry that person’s soul into the next heavenly realm.

Death is not defeat but a door to transformation.

No one truly dies.

Receive the good news!

Then share it with someone else.

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Listen to the song of the day “Heal Me” on the Live to Love album by clicking HERE.

Purchase my albums/CDs and books by clicking HERE.

Stream and/or purchase my songs on Amazon Music by clicking HERE.

Remember: God loves you!

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Inner Wholeness

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“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – The Dalai Lama

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Listen to the PODCAST version of Today’s Contemplation by clicking HERE.

Listen to my song “I Will Give You Rest” on YouTube by clicking HERE.

My albums and books Mercy Reigns & Listen to Your Heart are available for purchase HERE. Also available on Amazon.

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Matthew 9:35-36

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned; like sheep without a shepherd.

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Jesus was preaching “the gospel of the kingdom.”

The word gospel means good news.

As for the word kingdom, it’s a term that would have been meaningful to the people of Jesus’ time.

It would have meant a secure place of peace under the rule of a compassionate and protecting king.

Remember that Jesus also said that the kingdom of God is among or within you (Luke 17:21).

This kingdom is the inner realm of peace and tranquility untouched by the world.

It is a spacious realm of infinite love.

It’s right here inside you!

This is why Jesus started his ministry in the gospel of Mark with the words: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

The time of fulfillment is now, the present moment.

Repent means change your direction.

Stop looking out-there-somewhere for your fulfillment and happiness.

The kingdom of God is already hereright inside of you!

You are already whole and complete, the beloved of God, as the perfect soul that God created.

Jesus exuded this Loving Presence wherever he went.

That’s why he could cure disease, or should I say, dis-ease.

All dis-ease was transformed to ease in the peaceful and loving presence of Jesus.

Inner discord was restored to harmony and wholeness.

That’s because Jesus was one with that Presence.

He wanted all those who were burdened and troubled to know that they were not abandoned.

God was always with them.

All they needed to do was turn inward.

Rest in the presence of the Divine Presence.

God’s love is always with you.

Your very essence is Love

Take some time to rest there.

Right here.

Right now.

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Listen to the song of the day “I Will Give You Rest” on the Listen to Your Heart album by clicking HERE.

Purchase my albums/CDs and books by clicking HERE.

Stream and/or purchase my songs on Amazon Music by clicking HERE.

Remember: God loves you!

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Silence Speaks

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“You have a treasure within you that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” – Eckhart Tolle

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Listen to the PODCAST version of Today’s Contemplation by clicking HERE.

Listen to my song “Breathe On Me” on YouTube by clicking HERE.

My albums and books Mercy Reigns & Listen to Your Heart are available for purchase HERE. Also available on Amazon.

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Matthew 6:6-8

Jesus instructed his followers: “When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

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This passage is one of the key passages in the foundation of Centering Prayer, a Christian form of meditation.

Basically, Centering Prayer is resting in God.

That means simply being present to the Divine Presence.

But while sounding simple, as you may know, it’s not so easy!

Our minds don’t like silence and non-activity.

Our minds like to fill such voids with constant chatter.

Many mistakenly believe that they are their thoughts.

They get attached to and identify with their thinking minds.

It comes as a revelation to them that they can actually observe their thoughts.

This was a revelation to me years ago.

If I can observe my mind’s activity, then who is the “I” observing the stream of thoughts?

In the words of Thomas Merton, that would be my true self.

Or you could say it’s my soul or my consciousness.

It’s really the only thing that is real.

The construct that my mind has concocted to form an identity in this world will one day dissolve.

It is ego-generated.

But the real me, my true self, will not dissolve.

It will go on when my body dies.

At least, that’s what I believe.

Near Death Experiencers have affirmed this belief in that they have experienced the continuation of consciousness despite their bodies being clinically dead!

What would be helpful to each of us would be to, in a sense, die before we die.

This is why Jesus taught to lose your life to find it (Matthew 16:25).

The ego’s false version of you has to be let-go-of so that your true self can rise.

That’s why Jesus also said that unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit (John 12:24).

In today’s scripture passage, Jesus gives us a great way to practice this dying-to-self on a daily basis: by going to your inner room (meaning inside yourself), closing the door (as in closing your eyes and resting in your interior), and praying without using words (as in saying nothing and letting your thoughts dissipate).

Just resting in God, in the Divine Presence, is very transformative.

It helps lead you to your true self which is as close to you as your very breath.

Breathe.

Be still.

Be you.

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Listen to the song of the day “Breathe On Me” on the Listen to Your Heart album by clicking HERE.

Purchase my albums/CDs and books by clicking HERE.

Stream and/or purchase my songs on Amazon Music by clicking HERE.

Remember: God loves you!

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