Monday, May 01, 2006

SGN Process and Seasons of the Soul

The SGN Process and Seasons of the Soul.

Visitors can find the SGN process jarring and even discomforting upon the first visit. We aim to incorporate the best of all Wisdom traditions in a way that helps each person with the basic questions: Who Am I? Why Am I Here? and What is the Meaning of My Experience? Our exercises are aimed to help the individual come to new realizations concerning their own unique journeys. We have no doctrine to teach, except that each of us has direct access to Mystery, the Mystery of our own lives. We are present to assist each other and ourselves in this process.

If we consulted the wisdom keepers of all cultures over the millennia of human existence, we would learn there is no one recipe for spiritual growth. Nor could there be found a specific ritual for spiritual development. The paths of human spirituality are as varied as the people on them. But what we can find in search the wisdom of the ages are four processes, like seasons of the earth, which nurture the health of the human spirit.
• Centering: a time of solitude to quiet the heart, separate from distractions, and tune in to the voice of the higher Self.
• Emptying: Cleansing the mind and heart of releasing pre-occupations, old thoughts, habitual distractions, toxic attitudes, ego-perceptions, undue stress, etc. that occupies and obstructs one’s focus of attention, thus becoming a roadblock to one’s human potential.
• Grounding: Accessing one’s deeper self, feelings, intuitions, the particular wisdom of one’s own heart, in owning all of one’s parts and one’s history and temperament.
• Connecting: Two parts: Listening to others deep sharing without judgment, and sharing one’s own insight, passions, disappointments, and dreams: what moves our hearts.

These four processes done in community enrich the lives of all members of our collective community, offer grounding, hope and renewal for others. Like the seasons of our planet, these processes are both subtle and dynamic, comforting and challenging, and provide a sense of balance between the three sources of spiritual well being: relationships, values and a sense of meaningful purpose in life. Our weekly meetings and other regular activities are aimed at supporting and enhancing these exercises for all members. We take a closer look at each:

Seasons of the Soul
Autumn: Centering, Soul Searching
Winter: Emptying, Cleansing
Spring: Grounding, Intuition
Summer: Connecting, Sharing

Centering: We become still, quiet the mind, and enter the heart, by sitting calmly in quiet concentration. We unplug from the external world, becoming aware of our "monkey mind" jumping all over our internal world. We begin to explore the vast landscape of the human soul. Many wisdom traditions teach this process: Be still and know that I am God. (Psalms 46:10). The shorter days of autumn gently usher us into a more interior state of awareness of transitions.

Emptying: We house-clean our inner home of non-essentials, detaching, letting go, releasing everything which does not serve the ongoing growth of our souls. We can become aware of habitual distractions, even personal addictions and attachments. The emptying process, paralleling winter is the most difficult: a winter of discontent, a dark night of the senses or of soul. We become aware of and release our ego-attachments to make room for new ideas, insights, and enlightenment. Awareness arrives only from a deep internal quieting.

Grounding: A deep receptiveness follows the emptying process. This may be just a very deep quiet and peace, or a time of revelation and resolution with regard to relationships, experience, values or direction of one’s life. It is better not to expect anything to happen at this point, but to cultivate the deep awareness and receptiveness during one’s daily life and routine, what Buddhists call mindfulness, or intentionality, in all one’s doings. Journaling is sometimes used.

Connecting: We usually emerge from the three previous states in a new openness for listening and relationship. We have come to realize that we are constantly in relationship with everything and everybody, a deep association with people and nature: earth, trees, animals, and our environment. An acceptance of our inter-dependence on all of humanity and the natural world is embraced. We are invited to understand, to love and to share our own individuality and gifts.

In reconnecting with our deeper selves and with one another, we are invited to dissolve ego boundaries, avoid "turf" issues, and to build bridges. We can experience a new summons to become instruments of peace and caring for others. We accept and own the connection that already exists between all peoples and all the wisdom traditions. We are ready to discover and embrace that which is common to all the teachers of the wisdom tradition throughout the ages.

One of the distinctive features of our SGN process is that we believe and practice a discipleship of equals: all are learners and all are teachers. Paschal has named this Equalog, that is, a discussion between equals, not simply a back and forth exchange, which is the root meaning of the word dialogue. All decisions arise from a shared circle of leadership, appreciating the diversity of gifts among us. We believe that this is the grounding and the strength of our SGN process that has given us ongoing energy to provide our weekly support groups, our monthly days of recollection (third Saturdays 10-3), our quarterly retreats, our free lending library and newsletters, and our Many Faces of Spirit community conferences in Lexington.

SGN is a nonprofit educational organization. We do not charge for any events, but all are open to all comers. We accept donations for the out of pocket expenses for printing and mailing newsletters, and other bulletins.

11/7/01 pbb, Seaward, Oates


At 12:19 PM, Blogger Personal Development said...

What are your 50,000 thoughts a day creating?

Our thoughts create our reality. This is a simple truth known by all people involved on the spiritual path. It is one of the most taught universal principles in the personal development field. Yet it is one of the most misunderstood!

People practice visualisation, affirmations, they use hypnosis, subliminal programming or countless other tools to transform their lives. However they fail to recognise one key area in their lives that hinder these wonderful techniques from being effective.

They sit day after day visualising their perfect scene and yet nothing happens. Why? They have followed all the instructions to the letter! They have chanted and imagined! They have formed a colourful, vibrant scene in their minds and affirmed that this is their reality. Then all of a sudden things get worse! What is going on?

Would you like to know the secret? Would you like to know why these people get no results? Would you like to hear one powerful statement that explains everything?

Good. I will tell you why these people get no results or even opposite results to those they are aiming for -simply because of the following truth. Consciously controlled thoughts such as visualisations do not materialise - ALL thoughts materialise!!!
Most people believe that if they visualise for 10 minutes a day their lives will magically transform. This is not the case. You must change your core thinking. You think approx. 50,000 thoughts a day. How many of those thoughts are working against your ten minute visualisation?
You can control the thoughts that enter your mind by changing the way you view the world. You can decide which thoughts you give energy to and which thoughts you discard.

The thoughts that you follow and give energy to become more dominant than the thoughts you discard. Your subconscious mind records these as your dominant picture on the issue at hand. You then move towards this picture because your subconscious mind starts making your outside world reflect the picture that you have stored internally.
Your mind should be on whatever you want. The picture you need to have is a positive vision of you already having achieved your goal. To realise this vision you need to focus and concentrate. Remember thoughts are real, they create your reality.
Let's say you have been visualising a new house. You spend your ten minutes in meditation picturing yourself living in your dream home. You finish your session and get up feeling positive that you will achieve your goal. Then during the day you get a heating bill through the post and exclaim "Oh no look how expensive this is I cannot afford to heat this house". Where is your focus in the present moment? What are you affirming? You are telling your subconscious mind that you cannot deal with what you have. You are affirming that your life is not how you want it to be. If you knew without doubt that within a week you would be moving to your new home would you honestly be worried about a heating bill? Perhaps other doubts creep in like "I should be happy with what I have", or "I will never get this house looking the way I want it" and so on and so on.
These thoughts that are not aligned with your goal. You are not giving complete attention to what you want. Whilst you are dealing with these other lines of thought your attention is not on your goal.
If you are aware of your thoughts you will suddenly realise that you have spent much more energy on counter productive thoughts than on creating a dominant picture of the goal you want.
Point your focus in the direction of you're the life you want. Think about what you want NOT what you don't want. It's that simple.

Your focus determines your reality. Change your focus and you change your life. personal development


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