Sunday, March 13, 2011

Continuous Prayer

This morning, I woke up with a peaceful and positive mind. One of my first thoughts was, "See my life as grace-full and enjoy it." This thought was sort of an intuitive command. My life is grace full in the sense that I have abundant time to seek God, and I do turn to Spirit for direction.

I can not explain why some days, maybe even most days, I wake up with a head full of self deprecation. I do my spiritual work in order to dig out of the mental crap. Some days, I don't seem to make it. The defeatist attitude is what I call "melancholy," which is an old fashioned term but seems to fit me better than the more modern "depression." Why am I melancholic? Was it the way I was born, or my horrible parents, or God? I guess it doesn't matter how it came to be. I have the tools to improve it. In fact, melancholy has driven my entire spiritual practice; and so I should perhaps be grateful. If I was of benign emotional consistency, I'd probably not pursue the spiritual life at all. I'd go to the car show and eat hot dogs.

Today, in my happy state of mind, I composed a new litany, or spiritual creed, or spiritual life line.

Spirit of the Lord remind me to
Live your grace-filled life and present peace.
You created me. I am your love.
Living here and being one with you.
Eternal silence lives its life in me.
Still and quiet love has set me free.

And during my 20 mile jog, I repeated this alot. In the past 30 years, I have basically devoted several years of my life to about 4 theological systems: 12 Step spirituality taught in AA; Benedictine monasticism; Roman Catholicism and A Course in Miracles. Except for Catholicism, I find many overlapping and helpful spiritual concepts. At this point in my life, I seem to want to integrate what ever was good about these things and strike out directly into God. I want to live directly in spirit, not through someone else's propositions.

And my spiritual life line is something short and quick to grasp at some times; and slowly ponder at others. It is my "practice of the presence," my continuous prayer. This particular litany is closer to what I actually think and farther from what I read in books.

Today, running and repeating my creed, I finally made the connection between spirit and leadership at work. At work, I am embarking on 3 leadership programs. I've been afraid that leadership means setting my ego about the task of complying with company norms and working hard to get ahead. But I know that this attitude is not sustainable and not fun. In so far as work is about money and position and beating out my colleagues, then it is an ego motivated achievement and makes me UNhappy. In so far as it is creativity, mindful matters, facilitation and break through thinking, then it is a spiritual achievement in harmony with my true existence as a creation of love. If I re-frame the leadership activity as an invitation from spirit to go and live my true existence, mean while trusting spirit to provide whatever opportunities come my way' then the endeavor is sustainable, happy and fulfilling on the spiritual level.

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