Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of January 14, 2008

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Divine Presence

(Part 9 of 9 in the Inner Work Series The Stages of Presence)

Be still and know that I Am God . (Psalm 46:10)

Ultimately, through devotion, surrender, and grace, we let go of our core i am, allowing it, allowing our innermost self to be replaced by the Divine I Am. That person, at least temporarily, enters an immeasurably larger life, a life as part of the Greatness that is All. Such people are no longer present; rather the Divine is present through them, as them.

Our very center, wherein we reside as i am, opens out and transforms into the sacred ground where God may enter. Instead of attempting to penetrate the Divine, we open to allow the Divine to enter us. We do not seek to become Divine, but rather to let the Divine to become us, to fill our innermost core with Its own sacred impulses. We become a bridge between heaven and earth.

That opening is a receptive process, both actively and passively. The active and passive modes together remake our soul through a complementary dance of the sacred. In the actively receptive mode, we direct the whole of our being, heart and soul, toward the Divine. We may use sacred words, a name of God or a prayer, to focus our effort. With our attention and intention, we reach out toward the Formless One, toward the Mountain of Purpose, toward the Great Heart of the World, beyond the utter stillness of consciousness, beyond the sacred light, beyond all. And in that rarefied territory, we surrender, we empty ourselves fundamentally, we lay down our innermost self and beg God to enter. But egoism prevents us from doing this purely and adequately. So we practice it daily, again and again, with faith and with love.

In the passively receptive approach, we do nothing. We just sit in stillness, making no particular effort and no non-effort. We just allow all the thoughts, emotions, images, and sensations to come and go as they will, without grabbing onto them and without resisting them. This practice of non-doing has its own benefits for health of mind and body, which sustain us as we wait for the day of grace. On that day, while were not looking, the Divine Will descends into our soul, unmistakably and irreversibly transforming our understanding of life, erasing the last traces of self-centeredness, and establishing the heart of love. This state inevitably passes, but leaves an indelible mark on our soul.

The process of reaching the stage of Divine presence is actually another whole cycle of entering the sacred realms of light, love, and transcendence. We will further address that cycle in the latter parts of the next inner work series: The Stages of Prayer.

For this week, practice opening to the Divine.


     

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