I knew I was different at an early age. I remember a weekend retreat I went on with the Pioneer Girls, the religious equivalent of the Girl Scouts. Sunday services were held outside. I absolutely loved it. As a child I loved nature and always found peace and comfort outdoors. I hated being forced to sit through Sunday school and then church. To me, God was more evident in nature than in the circle we sat in for Sunday school or the congregation of a church. I was not until I read The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer that I understood that I did not think like most people – I feel compelled to search for the spiritual, for my true self, and for a Truth that did not change with the times.
Back in the 1970’s, Zen and Transcendental Meditation were new concepts to me. I thought only prayer was the answer. Come to find that prayer and meditation are not mutually exclusive. Jesus said, “Ask, and you shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and the door shall be opened to you.” This, I found out after reading Rob Bell’s book, What We talk About When We Talk About God, in Greek actually meant – keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking. To me that did not mean going to church – it meant living a Christian life on a daily basis, not just on Sunday and when you are saying your prayers. At the time I did not have a word for it, but now I know I was searching for the concept of mindfulness. When I was in the woods or on the beach mesmerized by the ocean – that is where I felt God. Nature reminded me to live a life of love and forgiveness, and to be mindful of the world that exists beyond our senses.
Now that I meditate daily, I use prayer as well. On some days when I get caught up in the drama of other people and in the stresses of life in general, it is harder to stop the thoughts from taking over my mind, or even to take the time to just be still. On those days I pray for help clearing my mind so that I can meditate and hear what Spirit /God has to tell me.