Thursday, September 07, 2006

Ping the spiritual GPS

A lot of people tell me they experience inspiration as somewhat of a "one-off," or a one-time experience that sort of surprises them. And they ask, How do you cultivate the ability to be inspired and uplifted consistently?

I think this is very important, actually. Inspiration as a random event is nice, but not very reassuring. What good is spiritual uplift if you can't count on it? If it only comes when you happen to be sitting the right way, like good cell phone reception?

Inspiration is much more available than that. It's more like a universal satellite global positioning system, and you're the receiver. When you ping the spiritual GPS, it tells you exactly where you are—and who, and what.

So it's really about developing the ability to ping. I've found some things helpful in that regard.

  • Find a quiet space. For me, it's a place in my house with a comfortable chair, no distractions, and a lovely restful view. My spiritual study materials are at hand, and there's no computer or TV. This is my habitual spot for prayer, although that doesn't mean I can't connect elsewhere. The quiet comfy chair, though, helps.
  • Get physically comfortable. For me, this is about arranging myself so that I have as little sensation as possible. I actually have a particular position I like to sit in, with my feet crossed and legs stretched out, arms relaxed at my sides and hands folded across my waist. This will be different for everyone. The point to me is positioning my body so that my senses are quieted and I can focus mentally.
  • Clear the decks. I use my study discipline to transition from thinking about the day-to-day details of my life to thinking about things of the Spirit. I'll read a few pages of Science and Health, the Bible Lesson, my daily Psalm, etc., to "get into the groove." This is not the prayer itself, however. It's the preparation for inspiration. Inspirational ideas will come to me as I read, which I then explore more deeply when I put the books aside. But I'm not satisfied with the momentary uplift from the reading. It has to go deeper.
  • Then, ping. I'm in the quiet place, with the sensation-less body, and I've transitioned away from the material details crowding my thought. Now I lift my thought Spirit-ward. I am expectant, joyous, open. I'm not sending—I'm receiving. I rejoice and affirm God's allness, I glory in concepts of the Divine such as Love, Truth, Life, I let these ideas fill my thought.
  • I am one with these ideas as they interplay in the realm of consciousness like swirling atoms in a primordial sea. Eventually, and always, one or two will combine in a new unique way, bringing me the molecule of a new inspiration. This inspiration invariably settles all that has been concerning me, since it is simply a restatement in a way that is new to me of the truth that God is All.

Inspiration to me is always about the truth that God is All. This concept is so big, however, that I only grow in my understanding of it in little bits. Yet those bits feel huge when they happen! That, to me, is the nature of inspiration—new insights into that which has been unchanged since creation itself.

Try to develop your own method for finding inspiration. It may be a bit of a process at first. I had a lot of trial and error at first, but began noticing what consistently worked for me after several months of trying. I now can reliably achieve a mental state that invites inspiration in a very short time, and often instantly if the need warrants it.

I remember what I was like before I started this discipline years ago. I was a bouncing ball of kinetic energy, never at rest. If I can cultivate the state of thought required for inspiration, anyone can.

I know *you* can. The most important thing is to get started, and see where the adventure leads you.

there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 9/07/2006 10:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Laura.....
It sounds so much like what my grandmother used to gently remind me of. Prayer is when we're talking to God, and meditation is when we're doing the listening or "receiving". I find that my inspiration comes in those quiet moments of meditation or "receiving" repose!

At 9/07/2006 01:28:00 PM, Anonymous Dennis R (BigRaff) said...

Is journaling an option? I have found sometimes, if I just start writing, ideas come to me-a stream of consciousness if you will.

It seems like if I just start with whatever comes with pen and ink, ideas do come.

At 9/07/2006 01:38:00 PM, Blogger Laura said...

oh, journaling is definitely an option! I often will have a pen in my hand for both the "clear the decks" part and the "ping" part.

the ideas will start coming, and I have to write them down. and many wind up in this blog!!

great reminder, Dennis....


At 9/08/2006 08:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your daily posts often help me "ping my spiritual GPS." Thanks, Laura.



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