Contemplative Prayer brings Persistence to Faith; Integrity to Self

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad and Boldog Karacsonyt

I love saying merry Christmas in different languages but these cultures represent a different part of my heart. I have used my blog to create a new format this year as I begin to transform into this new person that I am on a creative and spiritual level. If you look back at my blog post from December 24, 2020, called “The Dawn of a New Era,” you will see the astrological meaning in the transformation that was to begin in 2021, for all of us. It started with the Christmas Star that hadn’t been seen since the Age of the Renaissance and I reflected on what this meant in that post as I talked to people about this then. Now, I would like to read a piece of scripture that I think is poignant for this year and this post.

Proverbs 1:20-33 Wisdom’s Rebuke: Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech:“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings.But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke,I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.“Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me,since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord.Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke,they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

In the Bible, we are taught some harsh lessons and it sounds quite harsh as well. The Bible verses were created in a time of ignorance, illiteracy, an unequal division of power and control or a domain in which everyone served the King of the land. Laws were very different then they are now, because they were all new people in the world. A time of modern civilization that was no where near coming into existence and was only a feared concept that people wondered about and fantasized.

It is no wonder people get confused when they read the Bible and run from it. Especially when there are so many preachers out there and Christians who continue to misinterpret the values within its text and focus on using it for power and gain rather than to spiritually advise. A true spiritual teacher flows with the novitiate rather than dictating to them. They help guide the prospective learner from where they are at.

This has been a tough year for me emotionally. I came to God during this time because I was in a crisis with love, with the person I love. He parted from me in a very deceptive and angry way because he was not ready to be in a relationship. He had lost his way in the world, as had I.

I begged God for help, day in and day out. I begged him for support to turn this wrong into a right. Each day, God did not come to my aide and yet I continued to pray. I read the Bible again by means of bibliomancy. I asked God for knowledge like a person asks the Tarot or a Rune stone for a message. I listened to Maria Gullo and Methods on Insight Timer.  I sobbed and begged when I didn’t get my way and prostrated myself to the floor in agony like a child throwing a temper tantrum. God did not give me the answer I wanted. Like the Canaanite woman who goes to Jesus, in search of a cure for her daughter, and he ignores her until she answers him intentionally; with pure thought and introspection. I was shown the way to contemplative prayer.

I had lost my way in the world, because I came to God when I felt like it. My path has been that of seeking answers through World Religions. I grew up Christian in the Hungarian church in Columbus, Ohio. I was not Hungarian, my stepfather was and when my mother married him, she followed his path. Nonetheless, I was re-baptized there and confirmed there and this is my home church for all intensive purposes. After leaving a batterer in California and starting my trek in life there, I had a very wounded soul, I had made terrible mistakes and I was about to make many more. In the meantime, I drifted from Christianity into spiritual solace.

I took up yoga, meditation, self-awareness workshops, motivational speakers and I studied different religions from around the world. I drifted into Wicca eventually as I worked with a Shaman, a High Priest and a High Priestess. The High Priestess eventually became a devout Muslim (returning to her birth origins), the High Priest eventually converted to Judaism and the Shaman died in 2012. I was alone, though before the Shaman left me, she assured me I did not need a teacher as I was ready to forge the path ahead on my own. I resisted her teachings and her faith in me. I was not ready and did not feel I was ready because I had long denied my “self.” I had long been in denial of the person I wanted to be as I did not feel worthy.

God led me to this man, recently, who I forged a relationship with. I let go of who I was even more, becoming a devout lover of him. It is no wonder that He (God) had once again, put me in front of a man; who had lost his way in the world. As I picked myself up and dusted myself off, as I read the scriptures once again in the Bible, and allowed myself to be led to God through contemplative prayer; a new path and a new woman began to emerge.

I have been interested in Gnostic spiritualism and with my background in world religions found the teachings on Insight Timer from Maria Gullo and Jory who goes through the name Methods to lead me here. Contemplative prayer is a journey first brought to us by an unknown teacher in the book, “The Cloud of Unknowing.” If this wasn’t enough to help us we now have Father Thomas Keating, to explain this prayer in a more modern sense, with his book “Open Mind, Open Heart.” These are books that follow Catholicism. However, you don’t need to be Catholic to pray or to meditate. You don’t need to be of any faith to pray two times/day for twenty minutes or more. You just need to be open to God.

I lost my way in life because I went to God or Goddess whenever I felt like it. I went to churches or temples when the mood struck me. Sometimes more often than not, especially if I liked the person speaking. It was exciting to be a part of at the time but I was never really there, even though I thought I was. I got messages but I didn’t live the truth, I was not fully awakened as I was always missing something.

In my last relationship, he was a handsome man. He was sexy, he was very giving, we had an amazing relationship in many ways. We laughed, we enjoyed travelling together, we enjoyed physical intimacy together, he was a lot of things that I loved and adored. I will never forget this man because he was a life lesson that brought me to where I am right now. Yet, as perfect as we seemed to be, while I was with him, I felt there was something missing from him. It was right in front of me all along but because I was an older woman and wanted to finally get it right, I feared abandonment and clung to him rather than to my values. I clung to this fantasy of all the things that seemed perfect and didn’t respect the fact that he was not ready for a relationship, and he may never be.

I have lost my way in the world with men because like with spirituality, I was in it when I felt like it. If the man was there, I went to him. This time, I gave of myself more willingly then ever before and allowed myself to be more vulnerable than ever before. That is the mistake I made because I gave up and gave in to what I thought a woman was supposed to be like in a relationship. In fact, we are not supposed to be anything. We are supposed to be ourselves and the partner is there to walk with us. We walk together but not too near and yet not too far. It is important, in a healthy relationship, to both be psychologically and spiritually working on our “self” as Dr. Polly Young-Eisendrath would teach me in her book: “Love Between Equals: Relationship as a Spiritual Path.”

There is an interesting quote from Father Thomas Keating that brings me back to my statement that I was prostrating myself on the floor to God. “Some people complain that God never answers their prayers. Why should He? By not answering our prayers, God is answering our greatest prayer, which is to be transformed.”

Transformation will come to us at any age, day, time in life, whenever we are ready. It won’t happen when you feel like it. It will only happen when you are listening within and follow the advice you are given. If we are trapped psychologically, emotionally, physically, spiritually, in a list of “shoulds” or expectations or the ego, we will never have our prayers answered. For the past nine months and for my entire adult life, I have wondered why I am not getting what I want in life. I would get things, just not exactly what I was looking for. God was speaking to me all along and I would resist His words, His messages, it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Often what we hear in our minds; our instincts, our higher consciousness, the answers are there but we don’t listen.

It is like when your instincts tell you to turn right and you turn left and get into an accident. You could kick yourself because you knew you were supposed to turn right but why didn’t you? It is a wake up call that we get over and over again until we listen and pay attention.

At 59 years old, having lost a man I loved once more, I had had it. My Shaman teacher had told me once that sometimes the lessons are so blatant and so mean because the universe is tired of trying to teach us things and we continue to not listen.

Two times a day for twenty minutes, I am practicing turning myself over to God and have been doing so for the last month, I think, maybe more. I don’t recall what day I began, just as I don’t recall what day I actually began reading the Bible again. I continue to look at the Rune stones now and then, in fact, God took me there last night instead of to the Bible, to have me choose Sowelu/Wholeness – showing me that I am the Spiritual Warrior now.

The path we forge to God is one that we need to practice consistently; not when we feel like it. It does not matter whether you are Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Hindu, Wiccan, whatever, as long as you are devoutly practicing your beliefs. Then we must go one step further. It is not just a matter of reading and praying it is a matter of breathing and living and practicing each day.

As a yoga practitioner, I heard the teachers telling us to breathe every class. As a young student I thought to myself “This is stupid, of course I am breathing.” Then on my contemplative path toward becoming a psychotherapist, I learned that I suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, through my studies. I learned that I was dissociating and holding my breath at times; when triggered by certain things. Then I went to yoga class again and understood what it meant to breathe. I saw that I was holding my breath in asana and not completely producing the results for my body. I began to focus on my breath and began to be in yoga mindfully; rather than egotistically.

In our life, we are egotistical every day when we are not mindful of our relationship with God and breathing what we are learning. As a young girl, I saw my parents go into church and smile and sing and be good people to others. Outside of church they began to yell and hit and curse and this confused me. This is what they knew. It is how I learned what I knew. Now, I realize that the path to God is one that we take consciously. It is one we discuss with our friends or more to the point, people who will listen and have awareness of what you are talking about.

When I was a child, I understood and learned from my dreams. I had visions and saw ghosts. I had spiritual revelations from various genres or moments in my life. I realized quickly that most people did not have these type of things and they would make fun of you when they didn’t know what you were talking about. For example: When I was learning yoga, originally from Lilias Folan on PBS in the late 70’s, I told my classmates in high school and got a roll of the eyes. It wasn’t until I was in Los Angeles and took yoga, which was then on the verge of becoming the fashion statement it is today, I was cool. I never gave up on Lilias though, nor did I give up on my dreams, visions or ghosts. I just retreated within and brought them out when people seemed to understand. When it came to men, they rarely did and so I learned to become a different person with them. Until I lost my last relationship and began to realize I needed to stop being in denial of myself and be true to myself. I needed to forge a consistent path with God and not worry whether people understood or did not.

When you are on the path toward transformation or enlightenment, you will meet new people in this direction. You don’t have to give up old friends but it may be prudent for your well-being and integrity. As long as you don’t have to give up on yourself and can stay true to who you are; keep your friends. At the same time, be open to the new friends who will come in front of you and embrace the freedom they provide.

Take your own self seriously this next and new year. Live your life with integrity, as if your life depends on it. Because it does.

At Christmas time, Christians celebrate a date that is used to commemorate the birth of the baby Jesus. This is symbolic of a new beginning of new growth in the thought process as Jesus brought a philosophy to people in that time period that was going to wake them up to a new consciousness. The new moon is once a month and also symbolizes new growth, new beginnings. In the Tarot, the Tower card or the Death card symbolizes the dumping of the ego and a time of regrowth or transformation that will occur.

In Proverbs, the statement that this blog post began with, God is saying, if you are going to ignore Him or yourself, as we are one with God, than He is not going to listen or give into your demands when you have fallen down and fell into a crisis. Why should He? If you are not paying attention to yourself, than why should God? If you are going to pray when you feel like it, go to church, or whatever way you have of believing and practicing your spirituality, whenever you feel like it, well, God isn’t concerned with this. If you truly want your life to go the direction you want it to go in, you need to take yourself seriously. You need to be consistent and follow the path you are on, daily. Be mindful each day, each minute, each hour of the life path you are on. Share it with people if they are able to relate but don’t waste your energy with someone who isn’t there and doesn’t understand. This doesn’t mean they are wrong, it just means that you aren’t their teacher. If they ask, then you are but otherwise, stop trying to be the messenger when no one requested this. Focus on your own enlightenment. Receive the gifts unto yourself and let your self-expression and the way you walk into the world be a testimony of who you are.

Namaste, the God within me blesses the God within you. Have a wonderful journey on your awakened path. You are never alone.

3 thoughts on “Contemplative Prayer brings Persistence to Faith; Integrity to Self

  1. Your writing on Contemplative Prayer is beautiful and expanding. Thank you for the reminder of what must come first for everything else to fall into place. I had learned this in recovery, but it just takes a relationship with a man to distract and get me off course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. Imagine if we could stay true to ourselves, our spirituality and have a man who respects us on our path of self awareness at the same time. A man who feels deserving of what we have to offer him and vice versa. A healthy attachment to each other. A mutual partnership. Love as a relationship between equals.

      Like

  2. Pingback: The Shack – American Movie | Jeannine Vegh

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