Tag Archives: Gifts

Unlocking Human Potential

“Unlocking Human Potential” is an overused phrase. Its used to sell drugs, food products, cosmetic products, gym memberships, yoga, Martial Arts, Meditation, and all manner of self help programs.

As over used and commercialized as the phrase is, unlocking the full potential of every human being on this planet is perhaps the most important task before us, not only for humanity to thrive, but for humanity to survive.

Human potential is incredible. Human potential brought us Einstein, Mozart, and Madame Curie. Human potential also brought us Jesus the Christ, Buddha, and Ghandi.  We are capable of so much creativity, innovation, and beauty.

Many people believe that our potential for great and wonderful things is a Divine Gift. Divinity, Spirituality, and Humanity are all part of who we were created to be, made in the Image of God.  Whether our faith is in God, Karma, or Human Potential alone, we can all agree that we are capable of great and wonderful things.

Humanity has achieved a great deal, but there is so much left to do. Understanding the quantum building blocks of our universe has the potential of unleashing unlimited energy and synthesis of new and amazing materials. Understanding the building blocks of life has the potential of creating  cures for devastating diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

There are symphonies to write, artworks to create, people to heal, and love to share. There are bridges to build, roads to repair, and buildings to renovate. There are forces of nature to understand and tame, like earthquakes and hurricanes. There are oceans and streams and forests to clean up, and fellow living creatures to help flourish.

There is much to do, and human beings have been given the gifts, the rights, and the responsibilities to do these things. We have the potential.

But we are held back from realizing our potential. Too many people are held back for lack of access to clean water, healthy food, healthcare, and education. Too many hard working people are held back from achieving their potential due to hard economic conditions, prejudice, lack of encouragement, and a sense of powerlesseness.

Along with the external conditions that hold us back, there are also internal conditions that hold us back. Fear, anxiety, and depression. Addiction, codependency, and resentments. Even over-confidence and lack of listening skills and empathy can hold us back.  Many of us live a balancing act, dealing with our “issues” while we limp along in our jobs and careers, our families, and our faiths, making due but also holding back, being held back, from realizing our true potential.

Our true potential includes great love and compassion, and helping and sharing hope with others. By holding ourselves back, we hold everyone back.

How can we move closer to realizing our potential? It seems like common sense that we need to let go of the burdens and blocks in life that hold us back. Only by letting go of our burdens and blocks can we move forward to accept the Divine gifts that we are all blessed with.

For many people, laying our burdens down, and surrendering them to a Higher Power can be very liberating. For most of us, it takes more than a simple act of will to let go of burdens and blocks that have taken a lifetime to build. Most of us are like the seed that falls in shallow ground, our faith sprouts, but the cares of the world prevent us from realizing our true potential.

To build up mental, emotional, and physical strength and endurance requires exercise and attention to our environments. But most of all, it requires a healthy attitude, a new way of thinking, accepting hopefulness and healthiness as a way of life, more than just a desire to change. In order for our seeds of faith and hope to flourish, we need to cultivate the ground, our inner selves, our minds, hearts, and cores.

Christian Tantric Meditation offers a method for tilling our inner ground, breaking up the clumps of clay and rock that prevent our potential from flourishing. In our four part / eight class program, we teach basic meditation skills, letting go of the inner turmoil that holds us back, accepting the Divine Grace that provides nourishment and growth, and finally, healthy relationships and compassion for others.

We offer Meditation training classes in our Sautee Georgia studio in the beautiful north Georgia mountains, just 1.5 hours from Atlanta.  Our costs are very reasonable, 25.00 for a 1.5 hour class, or 20.00 if you register for two classes or bring a friend.

Our next introductory classes are opening Saturday October 17th.  Please visit our Contact and Registration page to register online, or give us a call at 678-358-8775.  We’re looking forward to helping you to realize your full potential.

The Christian Tantric Meditation methods are also available in book form through Amazon.com and some local booksellers.  Visit our publications page for more information about the book.

Have a Blessed Day!

 

 

Meditation as a Listening Prayer Practice

Hello again, my name is Dave Miller, and I am a licensed associate professional counselor in the state of Georgia, lay pastor, and author of the book Christian Tantric Meditation Guide, available at Amazon.com in Kindle and paperback editions. Form more information visit ecumenicalwellness.org.

I’m going to start today by asking a question: What are our strengths, what are our gifts, and who is it that God made us to be?

Some of us may be self aware and living our potential, accepting and being who God made us to be. Many of us are not sure, but we have some ideas. Some of us don’t have a clue, but that’s OK, in fact that’s great, because people who admit that they don’t have a clue about who they are approach the question with an open mind, which is a great place to start any adventure.

Who are we, as human beings? For many people who participate in the Abrahamic traditions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, our first clue about who we are comes from our sacred scripture, which says that we are made in the Image of God. And also, from our sacred scriptures, we have some clues about who God is. We all believe that God is Merciful and Gracious, and we all believe that God is with us.

Lets unpack that a little bit, what does Gracious mean? Full of Grace. What does Grace mean? Grace means showing unmerited favor or having unconditional love. Unconditional means that whether we are sinners, or saints, or somewhere in between, God is with us and loves us.

So when we go back to our original question, which was what are our strengths and gifts, we have a few clues to start with. We are made in the image of God, we are loved unconditionally, and God is always with us.

These are powerful tools to start our adventure with, knowing God is with us and that we are loved unconditionally. From here the question naturally arises, what does it mean to be made in the image of God? Well for starters, we know that unconditional love is part of who we are, part of our DNA. We also know that being with others is part of our DNA, we are social beings.

The questions we have asked so far are about the nature of humanity, the remaining questions are a bit more specific, they apply to us as individuals.    How do we ask God, who is with us always and loves us unconditionally? In the Abrahamic traditions we ask God in prayer.

If we pray to God asking specific questions, we may need to take time to listen for an answer.  When we try to listen, a variety of things can happen.   Sometimes our minds become so flooded with possibilities that it was hard to pick out an answer.  Sometimes  our minds are so filled with day to day life the answers are covered up. And sometimes they

This is where meditation comes in.

The Abrahamic cultures and faiths have volumes and volumes of wonderful stories, advice, and messages from God as told through prophets, there are other traditions in this wonderful planet we live on who have spent thousands of years developing and documenting techniques for listening through meditation. And those techniques include Yogic Hindu and Tantric Buddhist practices.

There are many many mystical teachings from within the Abrahamic traditions that focus on listening, and studying and using those writings and traditions is a wonderful thing to do. But within those traditions, mysticism, meditation, and listening have been outside of the mainstream. In Eastern traditions, meditation has been a central focus for thousands of years, leading to Tantric practice techniques.

Because of the focus on listening, Tantric practices are consistent with many of the Abrahamic religious teachings and traditions. For example, Tantric Self Emptying calls to mind fasting and atonement practices in all traditions. Guruyoga calls to mind practices used to bring people close to God. And Compassion based meditation is consistent with teachings related to loving our neighbors and treating others as we would be treated.

Some of the eastern meditation techniques are finding their way into counseling practices. Mindfulness and Compassion oriented meditation techniques have applications in addiction, anger management, codependency, and all other areas of mental health.

Christian Tantric Meditation consists of three stages – self emptying, Divine Communion, and Compassion. Self emptying allows us to release the desires, resentments and attachments, and fears and burdens that hinder our ability to listen to ourselves, others, and God. Divine Communion invites God to become a part of us, increasing our intimacy and ability to listen, and allowing us to accept the gifts of Hope, Love, and Faith that God has to offer. And finally, Compassion practices help us to accept and love unconditionally ourselves and others, for who we are here and now.

So, we’ve asked and answered some questions, about who we are, who God is, how we speak with God in prayer and how we can listen to God using meditation. We have talked about Tantric practice applications to human psychology and to Abrahamic cultures. We’ve also talked about how Christian Tantric meditation uses Tantric practices in a Christian context. What have we learned, what are our take aways?

God is with us, and we are all loved unconditionally. Knowledge of this is our foundation. We are all formed in the Image of God, and we all are given strengths and gifts. Meditative practices help us learn and grow into our strengths and gifts. Meditative practices increase our ability to listen, which helps us appreciate ourselves, God, and others more fully.

Christian Tantric Meditation provides a powerful collection of Meditation practices that can be learned through the book and / or workshops, so visit ecumenicalwellness.org for more information.

My final prayer is that we all learn to listen to ourselves, and God, and to one another, so that we may all encourage each other and grow into being the people whom we were created to be.   Have a blessed day!

Recognizing our Fruits, Gifts, and Strengths

In my last Blog posting, I stated that as an Ecumenical Christian I  strive to “accept and love and celebrate the diversity of cultures and faiths and orientations that people bring to therapy.”

When discussing acceptance and inclusivity, some people are quick to respond that “if we just accept everything and everybody, then anything goes. The world is not a healthy nor a safe place, we need some standards for discerning right from wrong, and good from evil.”

I’m reminded of something the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Galatia regarding the discernment of good in people. He wrote that “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” It has been my experience that most of us hold many if not all of these characteristics, these fruits of the Spirit, whether we are aware of it or not. And the Spirit does not discriminate when distributing these fruits – people of all faiths and cultures and orientations have the capacity to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, generous, faithful, gentle, and self controlled.

I’m also reminded of a phrase that Jesus spoke: “Seek and ye shall find.” I believe that if we seek out the good in ourselves and others, then the good will flourish. We live in a society that pathologically seeks pathology. We are constantly looking for answers to the question “what’s wrong, and how can we fix it?” Imagine a society where we ask the question “what’s right, and how can we build on it?”

People sometimes enter into therapy because they feel that emotions or behaviors hold them back from experiencing happiness, professional success, and healthy relationships. When we are feeling bad, we naturally seek help. While part of the therapeutic process includes recognizing the challenges we face that take away from our happiness, another substantial part includes recognizing the fruits of the Spirit, the gifts, and the strengths we carry within us.

Along with developing a mindful understanding of the way we think and feel and interact with others, we develop an appreciation for the gifts and strengths that we bring to the table also. And in the process of recognizing both our challenges and our strengths, happiness and healing often emerge.