spiritLaying sick this past week, I had extensive conversations with a distant friend.  While unsure why she reached out to me at this particular moment, I have bathed in our renewed time together.  After conversing at all sorts of odd hours, one could find a sense of peace, a spiritual awakening. I felt amazingly refreshed.

Eckhart Tolle wrote,That is the real spiritual awakening, when something emerges from within you that is deeper than who you thought you were. So, the person is still there, but one could almost say that something more powerful shines through the person.”  This reminds all of us that one does not have to be terminally ill nor do you have to perform a bazillion hours of meditation to enter this peaceful state. However, once experienced, this spiritual awakening can become a part of your daily life.

Spirituality and religion belong in the healing paradigm and they factor significantly in recovery, well-being and longevity.  Jesus was once asked when the kingdom of God would come. The kingdom of God, Jesus replied, is not something people will be able to see and point to. Then came these striking words: “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21). Looking into peace via the eyes of a friend, I confirmed a long held notion: that every great religious, spiritual, and wisdom tradition have the same commonality— that life’s ultimate truth, its ultimate treasure, lies within us.

After experiencing such peaceful moments in the last eight (8) years, I remember St. Augustine’s thoughts:

I entered into the innermost part of myself. . . . I entered and I saw with my soul’s eye (such as it was) an unchangeable light shining above this eye of my soul and above my mind. . . . He who knows truth knows that light, and he who knows that light knows eternity. Love knows it. O eternal truth and true love and beloved eternity!

And I often do this. I find a delight in it, and whenever I can relax from my necessary duties I have recourse to this pleasure. {I experience] a state of feeling which is quite unlike anything to which I am used — a kind of sweet delight which, if I could only remain permanently in that state, would be something not of this world, not of this life. But my sad weight makes me fall back again; I am swallowed up by normality.

Find a slice of this heavenly peace and invite it into your life. It’s nice to be reminded that the “kingdom of heaven” has many doors. This same kingdom we’ve been hearing about for the last several centuries is “within you.” Within us all. Here and now.

My soul at once becomes recollected and I enter the state of quiet or that of rapture, so that I can use none of my faculties and senses . . . . Everything is stilled, and the soul is left in a state of great quiet and deep satisfaction.

~Mother Teresa~