Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Solace and Peace from Your Special Spiritual Places

Good morning, Happy Souls!

Are you feeling motivated this morning? I certainly hope so.

One of the special joys I've had over the years has been learning about the special spiritual places that members of my family have shared with me. I feel incredibly honored to not only learn about these places . . . but to also accompany a loved one to the places to drink in the atmosphere while hearing about their spiritual practices.

The first time this happened was while I was a small child. My mother awoke me before dawn to attend Easter sunrise services in the mountains near our home. As the sun rose in the east and the word of God was shared, I felt a special sense of Jesus’ promise to each of us. I will carry that moment with me as long as I will live.

After I began to drive as a teenager, I began searching out my own special places. I often took my girl friends to those places and shared my deepest thoughts with them. Sometimes we would read poetry to one another.

As an adult, I began to find more such places. It was about then that I began to realize that spiritual places are not all equal. Each one has a somewhat different effect on me. I began to seek out places that allowed me to flourish in more spiritual dimensions.

For example, I found that some places are better for Bible reading than others. You feel the infinite universe and God's hand better in such places. Later, when I learned to meditate, I discovered that the quality of meditation was affected by my location. I soon found the places where the spiritual peace was the greatest and returned to those places often.

My biggest surprise was to find a spiritual place where my creative mind was totally unleashed. Sit in that spot for a few minutes, and it's like opening the floodgates to a dam that's been storing water all winter. Well-formed, new ideas emerge faster than I can write them down. Elsewhere, nothing similar happens.

From this, I've come to believe that we can have many spiritual places . . . each of which will provide special benefits. Now, I cannot explain why some places work better than others for various purposes . . . but I just know that they do. With trial and error, you can locate your special places.

Here's my advice for you. But you may have a better idea. I hope you will comment and share your better ideas.

First, make a list of what kind of spiritual experiences you would like to have in your special places. Here's my list: forgiving people; increasing my love for people; peace; solace; creativity; learning from the Bible; closeness to God; feeling the Divine Plan; asking for and receiving forgiveness; and achieving inner harmony.

Second, think of when and where you have had the most successful spiritual experiences of each type. Write down why you think that location helped. Ask yourself what was missing from the location to make your spiritual experience more complete.

Third, make a list of places where you think you might find a similar or improved spiritual experience of the sort you've had in the past.

Fourth, visit those places under the circumstances that you regard as optimal and see how you respond.

Fifth, for places that work well plan to visit them as often as possible to energize that aspect of your spirit.

Sixth, encourage others to tell you about their spiritual places and what they feel in each one. This may open you to new dimensions of spiritual development and new spiritual experiences.

Seventh, try out new places to see whether they bring you new spiritual experiences. Be open minded as you do because some very unlikely places may yield surprising benefits. Many people, for instance, think that a spiritual place has to be one where they can be alone. I find that many good spiritual places do offer the chance to be alone, but some of my best spiritual places are buzzing with human activity. What seems to be important is that the place provides a sense of timelessness.

Please feel free to let me know what else you would like to learn, and I'll do my best to help in future blog entries.

Thanks so much for your support of this blog. I'm delighted that so many tens of thousands of people have made this blog part of their regular reading habit!

If you like this blog, please let others know who might also enjoy it.

May God bless you.

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell


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