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Supplimenting Our Faith


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I have opened up a wider circle within my own personal faith to not only include the teachings of Jesus and the Faith and Practice of the Religious Society of Friends, but am now including some other approaches to life as well. I began practicing qi gong, the ancient Chinese art of healing through the creative use of the vital life energy qi. I practice flowing qi motions in the morning to prepare me for my day and contact with a toxic world, corrosive people, a stressful job, etc. Within the context of practicing qi gong, I am beginning to understand what 'balance' is. At my age, standing on one foot is a challenge, but that isn't the balance that I have in mind. The 'balance' between extremes, between opposites, creates balance in thought, deed, and action. By staying clear of extremes, I find myself more 'focused' but without effort...a state that Quakers call 'clearness'. It is then that I can understand what my day-to-day life is showing me and where my path is leading, what I really should do as opposed to what my tendency toward extreme emotions pushes me toward, and where I need to go as opposed to where my worldly wants, desires, and behaviors lead me. I was able to think out in terms of balance where I want to go and how I want to be with this new job I have. With less than 6 years until retirement, I've decided to stay as a worker bee...come in, do the job, and then leave. No management, no checking company email on Saturday mornings, no coming in early and leaving late, no ratcheting pressure, and no responsibility for other people and their actions. Been there, done that, and it's time to just let my life flow into balance. I don't find Eastern approaches to life in conflict with my Western sense of living, but as a compliment that is a good fit. What other compliments have we adopted in our faith life? I'd be interested in what other members's thoughts are and experiences have been.

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Hi Russ,

 

I think it is a good thing to practice whatever works for you to maintain a sense of balance. At one time i used spiritual prayer for an hour or more each morning to prepare me for the day and a short session in the evening. At another point i practiced meditation multiple times a day as time permitted.

 

At the present time, i neither practice in that sense nor do i see the world as' a toxic world', with 'corrosive people', or even 'stressful'. Not to disagree or say that it is not perceived that way or that in the past wasn't perceived that way by myself and certainly by a majority, however, to me, i now see a new world in divine balance itself and neither toxic or corrosive. Instead i marvel and the connectedness and 'dance ' of it all. It has no trouble 'standing on one foot' and even its fall is in harmony with the dance. Where i once saw chaos, i see a 'balance'. Perhaps i have gone mad or am looking with different eyes. Perhaps....., perhaps......., perhaps.... It is not important as i am part of that dance and where it takes me i need not be concerned anymore.

 

Anyway, since you asked, that is my experience for now.

 

Joseph

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Hi Russ. Greetings from a Quaker in the UK. I agree that some sort of spiritual practice can be important. I tried some tai chi lessons once but the teacher wasn't very good. Then I found practicing a sort of freehand tai chi is very useful as a prelude to meditation. I now imagine my heart aura (see Jospeh Chilton-Pearce's work on this) and, with my legs about 18 inches apart, move my arms slowly and gracefully within the bubble of my heart aura. It sort of connects me with my larger self and with the fabric of the universe. It's like playing with gravity.

 

One day I spontaneously imagined I was standing on the edge of space with a massive transcluscent blue globe before me. It was beautiful. I reached out and gently described the circumference of the globe with my fingertips and was filled with awe. This happens regularly now. I confided this to a friend who said she also experienced holding a globe during a mystical experience. I also read recently of someone else who had a very similar experience. Nothing supernatural, I'm sure. But symbolically and experientially beneficial. I find that the subsequent meditation is a deeper experience than usual. Has anyone else had similar experiences? If so, what do you think the relevance is? Do we even need to know?

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Brian,

 

Sounds like a wonderful experience. We look at the world and the stars and the vastness of space and in the flesh we feel it is so large and we are so small. In Spirit, to me, the exact opposite is true. There is neither time , nor distance nor is a locality possible because there is no 'out there' . Just my own experience but i find things are not as they appear to perception. It is our senses that give the appearance of separatness where there is in truth, IMO, none.

 

Joseph

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At the present time, i neither practice in that sense nor do i see the world as' a toxic world', with 'corrosive people', or even 'stressful'. Not to disagree or say that it is not perceived that way or that in the past wasn't perceived that way by myself and certainly by a majority, however, to me, i now see a new world in divine balance itself and neither toxic or corrosive.

 

Hello, Joseph...

 

I feel the need to seek out inner balance and peace within the context of a violent, polluted, insane society and world. It must be my Gnostic interest where I view the world as a place to leave behind and not try to repair! :rolleyes: I do find myself coming into contact with people who not only are blind to their own spiritual identity, but attempt to push their values and behaviors on others. Such people are corrosive to me and need to be kept at a distance. Although I regard every single person alive right now, today, as Children of God and as having the Light of God Within, people unaware of their own spiritual selves can possess values and exhibit behaviors that I not only disagree with, but find incompatible with my own sense of an Inner Life. Needless to say that such people are not 'progressive' in the spiritual sense but turn to the material possessions and rewards of society as a definition of self. Having left that place behind in my life, I know how attractive such things can be...and how destructive as well.

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I must admit that when I first read the OP my immediate reaction was that my dustbin of a mind would have a lot to say, yet mercifully you were spared. I've been trying to get my head around why ever since - on and off. (Mostly off, as there has been the cricket in Australia to follow)

 

Yet it seems to be that I have no sense of a life - or practice - that is dictinct from anything else. Therefore the concept of "supplimenting" it seems incongruous.

 

Blue globes are another matter. The experience sounds fascinating, but one I am unfamiliar with. During my own days of meditating, I was only aware of the chair and the room around me. And "gnostic interests" have been few and far between in my own life, with just a few dips into the works of Elaine Pagels.......very brief dips. (Apparently St Augustine was heavilly influenced by such ideas via Manichean thought, which would explain a lot.)

 

I would say that I have enough "toxic thoughts" and "questionable behaviour" of my own to reflect upon, so rarely consider the thoughts and behaviour of others, toxic or otherwise. I tend to see my own, "SEE" it, then leave it alone, and hopefully my "spiritual identity" takes care of itself.

 

Anyway, just a few musings. For better or worse.

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Hello, Joseph...

 

I feel the need to seek out inner balance and peace within the context of a violent, polluted, insane society and world. It must be my Gnostic interest where I view the world as a place to leave behind and not try to repair! rolleyes.gif (snip)

 

 

Thanks Russ,

 

I believe i do understand your view. I personally don't see it in need of repair either. To me, It is as it should be for this moment. I think the purpose of all practices is to take one to looking beyond appearances and see the kingdom of heaven that is here now. That is only my own view and experience to share and not meant to say that those whose view is different is not valid for them.

 

Joseph

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