This past Sunday, I was privileged to get to preach at a congregation where I have been honored to preach a few times before. I am so grateful to that congregation, small though it is: Hyattstown Christian Church. Even though I consider myself an interfaith spiritual teacher, healer, and life coach at this time, I am grateful for opportunities to return to my roots in Christianity.
Here, I would like to express some ideas that go beyond the traditional Christian view, to share a more universal message on this topic: life with God. I do understand that many people feel very uncomfortable with the word ‘God,’ and consider themselves atheists or agnostics; I welcome you and invite you to consider the message within and beyond the mere word ‘God,’ and then to comment on your experiences of ultimate essences such as peace, love, gratitude, and joy.
Speaking of interfaith, or multi-faith, the scriptures that moved me in formulating this message about life with God were actually the Jewish scriptures that were assigned as Lectionary Readings* for Sunday. So, this message arose in the context of reading Zechariah 9:9-12, and Psalm 145:8-14. I hope you’ll read them, if the Jewish and/or Christian traditions speak to you.
The first image portrayed in the Zechariah text is that of: “Lo, your king comes to you, righteous and saved, humble and riding on a donkey.” ** The powerful spiritual concept here is that the Divine comes to us, for the king represents God, as a faithful servant of God.
For all those times in life that we humans experience ourselves feeling lost and alone, how reassuring this is that God comes to us. For all those times when we feel stressed, anxious, at wit’s end, and don’t know what to do next, we can trust that even in those moments of near panic, God comes to us.
For me, this is what the practice of meditation has confirmed over and over again. The most notable time this occurred, for me, was one morning when I meditated to a state of complete peace. I felt utterly peaceful. Inside me and all around me was this energy of perfect peace. There was not one vibration inside me or outside me that was out of harmony with this peace. In this peace, I heard inside my head, what I call the Teacher Voice say, “This is God.” That soaked in beautifully for a split second, and then immediately my theologically-trained ego-mind objected, “NO! I want words!” Of course, I then realized how ludicrous this is, and thought, “If this (peace) is God, then everyone will fall in love with God!”
Through meditation, I have also learned that we can also learn to breathe and invite God’s presence to come into us. We can also breathe and invite God into us as Spirit, or as Holy Breath, or as peace, or love, even when we are not meditating, right in the middle of the challenges of life.
When we live life in peace, we are living with God. When we make peace with one another, we are sharing God.
Psalm 145 gives us another clue about how to live life with God: “All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you.”
Gratitude is such a powerful way to connect with God. Gratitude opens our hearts up to the powerful presence of God. Gratitude can move us from from the negative, complaining, whiny, lacking, victim-consciousness, to the all the divine possibilities that can ensue from connection with God.
Gratitude acknowledges that we have received and are receiving divine gifts and divine presence every moment in our lives, even when it neither looks nor feels like it. Everything in our lives is technically a gift one way or another. We just have to be grateful for it in order to perceive the gift in it.
I do not write this from naive, Pollyanna perspective; rather, as I am writing, I am remembering being in relationship with an abusive partner who was also a healer. He could channel such beautiful energy. However, I remember one time when I had experienced him as being cruel and uncaring to me, and then encountered him when he was channeling healing energy and was meditative and peaceful. I angrily shared my upset with him, and without taking in any of my concerns, he just remained in his own peaceful zone.
As I just now, years and years later, brought gratitude to this memory, I realized that what I am most grateful for was seeing his ability to dismiss all that was important to me. At the time, I did not trust my own sense that this was the case, and choose to remove myself from the relationship, which is how I managed to get into and stay, for awhile, in an abusive relationship: I did not trust myself.
When we trust that God comes to us, and enters us through the Holy Breath of life in us, we can learn to trust ourselves more fully also. When we learn ways to help us remain in this lovely energy of peace, we can learn what it is inside us that removes us from this divine state of being, for it is not what happens outside that removes us from divine, peaceful presence, but our own thoughts, fears, and limiting beliefs that remove peace from our own hearts and minds.
Buddha is ultimately the teacher I would like to thank for helping flesh out this lesson about “Life with God.” Buddhists, please don’t stop reading just because I placed Buddha and God in the same sentence. I have talked with Buddha.
Yes, you read that correctly, I have talked with Buddha. More importantly, Buddha has talked with me.
Buddha taught me two most essential lessons that I count as lessons on how to live life with that which I call ‘God.’ The first lesson is “The Fundamental Nature of Reality,” which I have shared elsewhere here in this blog. The second lesson is “The Keys to Enlightenment,” which I have also shared elsewhere in this blog.
Both of these lessons came while I was meditating. (I have been connecting with and taught by Buddha and other Ascended Masters, including Jesus Christ, since May 2010.)
One morning, I was meditating after having a life experience about which I had been feeling extremely upset. In the wee hours of the morning, when I had been not managing to sleep, the Teacher Voice had said to me, “All is well.” That had brought me some peace.
When I later meditated, I sensed Buddha’s presence, and experienced him reminding me that ‘all is well.’ I then sensed Buddha prompting me (without words) to open Karen Armstrong’s wonderful, academic book called, “Buddha.”
I did so, opening very handily enough to the term ‘dhamma’ in the glossary. (Dhamma is also dharma.) Karen Armstrong gives this extremely helpful opening to the definition of Dharma: “Originally, the natural condition of things, their essence, the fundamental law of their existence;” she goes on to explain that dharma has come to refer to religious teachings, etc.
Suddenly, it became crystal clear to me, that Buddha was telling me that the fundamental nature of reality is the state of being in which “all is well.” By putting Buddha’s comment, “All is well,” with this definition of dharma as “the natural condition of things, their essence, the fundamental law of their existence, it becomes evident that the natural and I would add, divine law of existence is that “all is well,” and all is moving into ever greater states of perfect wellness, or wholeness, or “salvation.”
It even occurred to me that “All is well” functions as a name for God, or an affirmation of divine presence, if you will.
So, to experience ourselves as living life with God, we just need to trust that all is well, and to vibrate with this energy-consciousness of “all is well.” When we trust that all is well and that divine presence is working to move everything into the wholeness of all is well, then we can continuously experience the very real presence of God, within us and with us, always.
To do so, we just need to let go of our fears and attachment to those desires that are interfering with our remaining in this state of energy-consciousness in which all is well. And that, my friends, is what Buddha taught is is the key to enlightenment: release all else, and remain in the “All Is Well.”
Another way to say that might be: Remain in God. Or, simply, live life with God. It really is heavenly!
Love and Light,
*The Lectionary Readings come from the Revised Common Lectionary, a three-year program for reading the Bible in worship designed by a gathering of numerous Protestant denominations.
** I am indebted to James T. Butler, one of the scholars in an excellent commentary called Feasting on the Word, for the more literal translation “righteous and saved,” of the Hebrew phrase that is usually translated “triumphant and victorious.” Feasting on the Word, Year A, Vol. 3, p. 199.