Experience Divine Joy with Every Breath You Breathe
by Eric Munro
Chapter 1: First Things First
Many times, people seeking personal or spiritual growth will focus too much effort on improving themselves. The idea takes hold that they must fix a laundry list of their faults before they can experience any divine communion. It’s as if they are inside the “house” of their own being and trying to clean it up before they invite God inside. But God is “outside” their house banging on the doors and windows, asking to be let in. He doesn’t care how dirty it is inside. He just wants to come in. If we let Him, He will help clean up the mess with us. This is grace—letting God into your heart, and He then changes you. How do we open the door to our house and heart to God? It’s actually quite simple. Practice the greatest commandment: “Love God with all your heart ...” God is wildly in love with you. He can’t resist any love you give Him, and He cries when you ignore Him. If you want God by your side, send Him a little love. He can’t resist it. He’s like a child with no self-control being offered a candy. One love offering from you and God will immediately come to your side.
God is infinte consciousness, infinite bliss. Love is the great connecting force. Anything you love will be drawn closer to you. The answer to: “why practice loving God?” is very simple. Practice so you will be drawn closer to infinite bliss. Spend more time practicing loving infinity, less time loving finiteness. Practice loving God every day. Make it a routine part of your life. Daily dedicate some fixed amount of time where you only practice loving God with feeling in your heart. Spend 80% of your spiritual efforts on loving God and 20% on fixing yourself. If you do this, communion with the divine will become a daily joy, and grace will start cleaning your “inner house.”
Chapter 9: The Sweet Spot
There is a sweet spot between total stillness and total activity that allows your mind to best focus on loving God. You want your conscious thoughts, right from the beginning of a dedicated loving God exercise, to be entirely on loving God. But the mind will rebel. So some activity at first helps keep the mind busy subconsciously so your conscious mind can more easily focus on loving God. A restless mind wants to dart about and think about many things; it is easily caught up in “random thought trains” that constantly crisscross your consciousness. Activities that require unconscious mental processing use up some of one’s mental capacity. This makes it less likely that your mind will jump on a random thought train. It helps keep one’s conscious focus on just loving God. Some good activities for calming the mind are gazing around, walking, knitting, doodling, people watching, etc. These activities take a lot of mental processing power but don’t require much conscious thought. So your conscious focus can be on loving God.
As you become calmer, the sweet spot will move toward less outward activity and more stillness. You become more in communion with God, so it is less likely you will “hop on a random thought train” that would break the communion. For a dedicated loving God exercise, you want to keep yourself in a sweet spot as you go deeper; this coaxes your mind into greater communion. You reduce the amount of external activity as you go deeper. How fast you reduce your activity is somewhat of an art. One can develop a good intuition for it by experimenting in different situations: how much to push one’s mind to greater focus and stillness without pushing so hard that your ego rebels, thwarting your efforts.