Practices are the Journey

The holding of the tension of paradox is the very name and description of faith. Unfortunately, in Christianity, faith largely became believing things to be true or false (intellectual assent). We must move from a belief-based religion to a practice-based religion. We need contemplative practices to loosen our egoic attachment to certainty and retrain our minds to understand the wisdom of paradox. Contemplative prayer is largely just being present: holding the tension instead of even talking it through, offering the moment to God instead of fixing it by words and ideas, loving reality as it is instead of understanding it fully. So much of life is just a matter of listening and waiting and enjoying the expansiveness that comes from such willingness to hold. (Rohr)

Mindless repetition of any practice, with no clear goal or clarity of intention, can in fact keep us quite unconscious—unless the practices keep breaking us into new insight, desire, compassion, and an ever-larger notion of God and ourselves. (Rohr)

See Meditation, Reflection, Contemplation

Wonder, Awe, Amazement

When I speak of wonder, I mean the practice of beholding the beautiful. To encounter the holy in the ordinary is to find God in the liminal. Wonder includes the capacity to be in awe of humanity, even your own. Wonder requires a person not to forget themselves but to feel themselves so acutely that their connectedness to every created thing comes into focus. In sacred awe, we are a part of the story. (Rohr)

Wonder leads to the experience of radical amazement at God’s world. It enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the divine. As Heschel noted, “Just to be is a blessing, just to live is holy. The moment is the marvel.” Awe is more than an emotion; it is a way of understanding, insight into a meaning greater than ourselves. The beginning of awe is wonder, and the beginning of wisdom is awe. Awe is a sense for the … mystery beyond all things. It enables us … to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple. Knowledge is fostered by curiosity; wisdom is fostered by awe. Awe precedes faith; it is the root of faith. A return to reverence is the first prerequisite for a revival of wisdom, for the discovery of the world as an allusion to God. (Rohr)

Healthy/mature religion gives us a foundational sense of awe. It re-enchants an otherwise empty universe. It gives people a universal reverence towards all things.6,p65

The roots of ultimate insights are found on the level of wonder and radical amazement, in the depth of awe, in our sensitivity to the mystery. (Abraham Joshua Heschel, God in Search of Man) Richard Rohr teaches that awe, wonder, and amazement are foundational spiritual experiences. People who live their lives open to awe and wonder have a much greater chance of meeting the Holy. Healthy religion gives us a foundational sense of awe. It re-enchants an otherwise empty universe. It gives people a universal reverence toward all things. Then we can see the reflection of the divine image in the entire natural world—which has now become inherently “supernatural.”

When we are engaged in the experience and practice of radical amazement, we begin to distinguish between the genuine and the junk. Caught up in contemplative awareness and rooted in love, we begin to break free from cultural confines and embrace the truth that lies at the heart of all reality: We are one. we must all become contemplatives, not merely in the way we reflect or pray, but in the way we live—awake, alert, engaged, ready to respond in love to the groanings of creation. (Rohr)

Contemplation teaches us how to see, which deepens our capacity to be amazed. Moments of awe and wonder are the only solid foundation for the entire religious instinct and journey. (Rohr)

Nature: Sunsets, esp. at Cross Lake (see pic), Niagara Falls, Watkins Glen, Treman Park, etc

Once we decide to behold, we are available for awe and wonder, to be present to what is, without the filter of our preferences or the false ledger of judging things as important or not important. A much broader, much deeper, and much wider field of perception opens up, becoming an alternative way of knowing and enjoying. (Rohr)

Marvel at the miracle of the universe and the great mystery of life and in awe of the world we share. (Post Std,12/5/21)

see The Wonder of Grace

General Overview of Practices

It is not what you read that can give you liberation, but what you do with what you read.(p409,Man's Eternal Quest)

The canonical gospels emphasize 'right belief' as the basis for salvation, whereas wisdom gospels emphasize 'right practice'. (p40,Mary Magdalene)

You must make spiritual truths a practical part of your life.

Spiritual practices are specific activities you do to deepen your relationships with the sacred and the world around you. Practices help you connect to God

Spiritual practice or spiritual discipline is the regular or full-time performance of actions and activities undertaken for the purpose of inducing spiritual experiences and cultivating spiritual development.

[By having a practice, it will help overcome] dominated between the real self and the empirical self. (p160, Paradise Journey by Merton) - see Revelation Ch 2 and 3 and see Gospel of Thomas logion 35

Throughout time, many philosophers, theologians, and writers have proposed a number of practices that might be considered spiritual disciplines. These include: Meditation, Prayer, Fasting, Simplicity, Fellowship, Journaling, Chastity, Stewardship, Submission/Obedience, Study, Evangelism, Contemplation, Confession, Solitude, Gratitude, Self-Examination, Silence, and Celebration.

Depending on the particular spiritual discipline practiced, but generally include an increase in one’s ability to: Delay gratification, Receive insight, Hear God’s voice/one’s inner voice, Make better decisions, Remain centered and unaffected by external events, Demonstrate moral courage, Detach from distractions, Feel inner peace, Behave unselfishly, Act with practical wisdom, Follow one’s own course, Endure hardship, Forge good habits, Conquer the worst parts of yourself (

Prayer's only purpose anyway is to bring a person to union with God. If every moment I’m consciously practicing love, doing all things for God’s sake, then I don’t need to worry about these spiritual methods.(Rohr)

The KEY to this mystery (paradox of: go out while remaining within) is not a practice, but an attitude.11,p94

New wine demands fresh skins or otherwise we lose both the wine and the container,” as Jesus put it (see Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37–38). Practices create a new container for us, one that will protect the new wine we wish to take in. Mindless repetition of any practice can keep us quite unconscious — unless the practices keep breaking us into new insight, desire, compassion, and an ever-larger notion of God and ourselves. It’s a paradox that God’s gifts are totally free and unearned, and yet God does not give them except to people who really want them, choose them, and say “yes” to them. This is the fully symbiotic nature of grace. (Rohr)


A Healthy Body


Stretching and Exercise

Work: Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. (Zen proverb)


Social, Emotional, Spiritual Well Being

What we call Original Sin in Genesis perhaps could be better called Original Shame, because Adam and Eve describe themselves as feeling naked. The first thing God does after creation itself is cover the shame of these new creatures. If we see God clearly, we will behave in a good and human way. Our right behavior does not cumulatively lead to our true being; our true being leads to eventual right behavior. Many of us think that good morality will lead to mystical union, but in fact, mystical union produces correct morality — along with a lot of joy left over. The greatest surprise is that sometimes a bad moral response results in the very collapsing of the ego that leads to our falling into the hands of the living God (see Hebrews 10:31). (Rohr)

God guides us through not-knowing. God invites us to become fully present to the unfolding wonder of the world around us, to let go of our need to control the narrative and be swept up in the possibility of a more just and generous future ahead. (p37, Oneing: Transitions)

Worship and Religious Rituals

Catholic Mass and Eucharist


O God, if I worship you in fear of hell, burn me in hell. If I worship you in hope of paradise, shut me out from paradise. But if I worship you for your own sake, do not withhold from me your everlasting beauty. —Rábi‘a (717–801), Islamic mystic and poet

see Christianity

Prayer - Our Connection to God: see Meditation, Reflection, Contemplation

Definition: a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.
- a religious service, especially a regular one, at which people gather in order to pray together.
- an earnest hope or wish.

The word “prayer,” which has become a functional and pious thing for believers to do, was meant to be a descriptor and an invitation to inner experience. When spiritual teachers invite us to “pray,” they are in effect saying, “Go inside and know for yourself!” (Rohr)

see Know Thyself

Prayer is a listening, a waiting in stillness. We stop our busy thoughts long enough to touch silence and communicate with God. "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the the door and pray to your Father who is in secret" (Matt 6:6) "Be still and know I am God." (Ps 46)

Prayer is the orientation of all the attention of which the soul is capable toward God. (Simone Weil, Waiting for God)

Prayer is how we communicate with God, our Creator. He is personal, cares for us, and wants to commune with us through prayer. (

Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jer 29:12-13)

I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me. (Prov 8:17)

Prayer is talking with God. It transports us from this world of not be able to do something, into God’s realm where all things are possible. (

Prayer for a Deeper Relationship with God - Almighty God, I pray that I will be taken into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with You, where I will grow in faith and hear the still small voice within my soul. (

Prayer is talking to God while meditation is listening to God.

Prayer is indeed the way to make contact with God/Ultimate Reality, but it is not an attempt to change God’s mind about us or about events. It is primarily about changing our mind so that things like infinity, mystery, and forgiveness can resound within us. A small mind cannot see Great Things because the two are on two different frequencies or channels, as it were. The Big Mind can know big things, but we must change channels. Like will know like.(Rohr)

The quality of your intention and attention is what makes the difference between boredom and beauty.(Rohr)

Prayer is bringing our thinking down into our heart.God is present throughout Creation. “Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the LORD” (Jer 23:24). “Prayer of the heart” occurs when the Prayer moves from merely mental repetition, forced along by your own effort, to an effortless and spontaneous self-repetition of the Prayer that emanates from the core of your being, your heart. You discover that the Holy Spirit has been there, praying, all along. Then heart and soul, body and mind, memory and will, the very breath of life itself, everything that you have and are unites in gratitude and joy, tuned like a violin string to the name of Jesus.(Rohr)

The word sacrament is derived from a Latin phrase which means “to make holy.” When hit with the glint of love’s light, even ordinary things become holy. (Rohr)

When we surrender to love in the present moment, we encounter the flow of Divine Presence. Prayer is not primarily saying words or thinking thoughts. It is, rather, a life stance. It’s a way of living in the Presence, living in awareness of the Presence, and even of enjoying the Presence. Fully contemplative people are more than aware of Divine Presence; they trust, allow, and delight in it. They “stand” on it! We can pray unceasingly, however, if we find the stream and know how to wade in its waters. The stream will flow through us, and all we have to do is keep choosing to stay there. (Rohr)

Authentic prayer is opening to God’s gracious presence with all that we are, with what Scripture summarizes as our whole heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). Therefore prayer is more a way of being than an isolated act of doing. Prayer is aimed at our deepest problem: our tendency to forget our liberating connectedness with God. Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10) - in a state of quiet appreciation, simply hollowed out for God. At the gifted [that is, graced] depth of this kind of prayer we pass beyond any image of God and beyond any image of self. If the fundamental spiritual discipline is prayer, opening to God, then the fundamental discipline of prayer is turning to our heart and inviting a sustained mutual presence.(Rohr)

A spiritual practice may be needed that will allow your emptiness, rather than fight to fill it. The ancient practice of centering prayer is one, like other meditative techniques from other religions and cultures: the quiet, gentle abdication of all one’s illusions of personal power and control. It is not measured by the quality or quantity of emotion it produces.(Rohr)

see My Unique Prayers

see The Serenity Prayer

see the Prayer of the Unknown Conferderate Soldier

Meditation, Reflection, Contemplation

My recent epiphanies / thoughts / reflections:

  • On 2/25/21 that the 'trees in the garden' are still there for our choosing and that the Tree of Life is Jesus giving us Christ Consciousness.
  • On 5/24/21 that the 'tree of knowledge' is knowledge of duality in which we let our minds constantly choose this path and therefore we need to have some practices so that we have a routine in order to automatically overcome and reconnect with nonduality/divine
  • 7/2021 that 'balance' means including the negative/opposite/different, like yin yang (see Balance)

See Meditation, Reflection, Contemplation

Simplicity and Now

God has called me by the way of [humility], and showed me the way of simplicity. A man had not yet given up everything for God as long as he held on to the moneybag of his own opinions.(St Francis) When we agree to live simply, we have little to protect and no desire for acquisition and we have time for spiritual and corporal works of mercy, like prayer, service, and justice work. (Rohr,10/9/20)

See 'The Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle

See 'The Practice of the Presence of God' by Brother Lawrence

see Let's Live for Today

Simplicity creates margins and spaces and openness in our lives. It honors the resources of our small planet. It offers us the leisure of tasting the present moment. Simplicity asks us to let go of the tangle of wants so we can receive the simple gifts of life that cannot be taken away. Learning to live simply prepares us for our last breath while cultivating in us the freedom to truly live here and now.(Rohr)

Study, Reading, Self-Development, and Self-Examination

My ways are:

- Gaia on Consciousness, but usually more related to extraterrestrial life

- Review spiritual books - currently Days of Awe and Wonder by Marcus Borg

- Currently reading "The Hidden Power of the Gospels" by Gaugy, Michelle, Shaia, Alexander

- Knowing myself, need to self exam my shortcoming and sins more often:
We are not punished for our sins, but by our sins!

Classes offered by the Syracuse Spiritual Renewal Center

  • Book library
  • Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius
  • St John, The Eagle's Word by Jim Krisher (Feb 2021)
  • St Paul, the Man and his Message by Jim Krisher (May 2021)

Resources offered by the Center for Action and Contemplation

  • St. Francis tradition: He believed that nature itself was the mirror of God. He called all creatures his "brothers" and "sisters". Francis preached the Christian doctrine that the world was created good and beautiful by God but suffers a need for redemption because of human sin. He believed that all creatures should praise God (a common theme in the Psalms) and the people have a duty to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God's creation and as creatures ourselves. (Wikipedia)
  • St. Paul offers a theological and ontological foundation for human dignity and human flourishing that is inherent, universal, and indestructible by any evaluation of race, religion, gender, sexuality, nationality, class, education, or social position.
  • Nondualism: The dualistic mind cannot process things like infinity, mystery, God, grace, suffering, sexuality, death, or love. Nondual consciousness is a much more holistic knowing, where your mind, heart, soul, and senses are open and receptive to the moment just as it is, which allows you to love things in themselves and as themselves.
  • Original Blessing: “God saw that it was good” five times and “found it very good” after the sixth day (Genesis 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). We all need to know that this wonderful thing called life is going somewhere and somewhere good. It is going someplace good because it came from goodness—a beginning of “original blessing” instead of “original sin.”
  • The Perennial Tradition: includes the constant themes and truths that recur in all the world religions at their most mature and deep levels.
  • I'm reading Richard Rohr's books and following him via daily emails
  • Taking the Introduction to Wisdom School by Cynthia Bourgeault

Knowing Thyself

diet - not to buy it cause if it's there, then I'll eat it

shy and introverted -

not very verbal or opinionated -

not good with names -

lazy -

not the brighest or wittiest -

anxious - if things are cluttered, unordered, undone/unfinished or if unknown (esp. doing computer programming) or mysterious (ie. spirituality)

see Know Thyself

Music and Musical Lyrics

SongPerspectiveLyricThoughtPlay Song
Pied PiperJesus saying:In case heaven has found you
Can't you see
That it's all around you
So follow me
Nights in White SatinGod saying: Just what the truth is
I can't say any more
'Cause I love you
Just what I'm going through they can't understand
Some try to tell me, thoughts they cannot defend
Just what you want to be, you will be in the end
Beauty I'd always missed With these eyes before
Cold hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colors from our sight
Red is gray and yellow white But we decide which is right
And which is an illusion
Truth must be learned by ourselves, like learning to fish rather than given a fish
Tuesday AfternoonA follower saying: I'm just beginning to see Now I'm on my way
Something calls to me
The trees are drawing me near
I've got to find out why
Those gentle voices I hear
Explain it all with a sigh
I'm looking at myself reflections of my mind
It's just the kind of day to leave myself behind
So gently swaying through the fairyland of love
If you'll just come with me you'll see the beauty of Tuesday afternoon
QuestionsA follower saying:1,000 million question ?
Melancholy ManA follower saying:I'm a melancholy man ?
Stairway to HeavenGod saying:Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn
Yes, there are two paths you can go by
But in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on"
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all
Just the Way You AreAbout God, not a girlHer hair, her eyes, her lips
When I see your face, there's not a thing I would change
because you are amazing just the you are
Iris (When Everything's Made to be Broken)God saying:And I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and HigherGod saying:Your love, lifting me higher
Than I've ever been lifted before
So keep it it up
Quench my desire
And I'll be at your side, forever more
Lifting me (lifting me)
Higher and higher (higher)

Creativity with Computer Programming Hobby

I try to incorporate spirituality into my computer programming hobby, for example:

- This website which forces me to think and organize my learning and thoughts almost like journaling

- see My Spiritual Nuggets wiki

- see 'My Notes' on my Android phone