A Weekly publication of The Awakening Institute for Spiritual Formation,
Spiritual Direction and Soul Care
Hi Everyone, I pray that you, at this very moment, are experiencing the presence of God in your day. Now is a good time to be still for a few moments and let God speak to your heart.
The Journey Part Two
Last week we began to offer a flavor of the journey by taking a brief look at the foundational brokenness that all humanity deals with.1 Last week’s article titled, “Integration and Disintegration” set the stage for a discussion of the human mind as we consider the re-integration that we seek.
We begin with the mind, not because the mind is the first thing touched by the Breath of Life (that is the human spirit), but because it is at the mind level of our human make-up that we are most likely to become aware of the need and the realization of an awakening, thus becoming able to respond to the God’s Holy touch. Our thoughts, the ability to choose freely, our volition, as well as consciousness itself, are important areas (albeit not the only areas) of the mind that once renewed by the transformational touch of the Breath of Life will set the stage for the unity with God, which we seek. As we move forward we will see that the mind, body, spirit and the soul are not so much individual autonomous parts of the human make-up, as much as they are inter-reliant aspects that feed, and nourish one another as an integrated whole, or conversely starve one another as a disintegrated mess. Because most of us human beings, if we are honest, find ourselves on the side of the mess, as we hunger and thirst for internal reintegration and transcendent unity with God. The goal of “soul care” is the occurrence and subsequent awareness of reunification, restoration, often seen as the re-born state that provides balance and harmony within our entire human make-up. This is occurs by God’s breath of life, who is the only possible reunifying agent. Our discussion of the mind, followed the by heart and the body will all come together, in part five, as we consider the holistic concept of “soul care”, the vehicle by which we can consciously become open and predisposed to an experience of God’s unifying touch in our lives. However, we must first accept the fact of our brokenness; be honest open to diagnosing our personal brokenness, and finally take down the barriers we have set up, which effectively block our journey to the unity we seek. This begins with an awareness that occurs within the human mind, an awareness that God has already begun to move in a pure act of grace. It is in the mind we become and aware, thus able to respond to God’s grace, in ways that are conducive with movements toward the re-integration we seek.
Take time to meditate on the following Scriptures that speak to this concept of mind awareness and healing. Read each of these passages as indicated below and journal your experience.
Reading #1: Simply read or listen attentively.
Reading #2: Listen for a word, verse, or concept that the
Lord may be presenting to you.
Reading #3: Pray to the Lord whatever the Scripture may
have placed on your heart.
Reading #4: Rest in God’s presence, silently, for 10 min.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-- what is good and acceptable and perfect. NRS Romans 12:2
Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. NRS
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Through concepts as incorporated by a process of “Soul Care” we are offered the transformation of the mind and given the ability to competently take our thoughts captive and healed by God.
1 The complete Soul Care program at The Awakening Institute consists of five 90 minute session called “The Journey” followed by six a session program called “Choosing Joy.” For complete information please email the email@example.com
Save the Dates
REGISTER TODAY FOR ONLY $25 PER SEMINAR
(Postponed new date TBA)
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details
To register please call 321-298-8801
Or visit our website www.theawakeninginstitute.com for a complete listing of available classes and a free syllabus for a class of your choice.
Want to learn more about the important practice of spiritual direction, or are looking for a spiritual director to walk with you in your spiritual journey?
Contact “The Awakening Institute” 321-298-8801
email@example.com or visit our website www.theawakeninginstitute.com
Coming in the Fall of 2017
Introduction to the Enneagram Eleven Week Course
This is an Eleven week (27.5 hour) course into the fantastic world of the Enneagram.
This class will include an in-depth look into all nine spaces as well as their subtypes, wings, triads and Holy ideas, with emphasis on its usefulness within the context of spiritual direction and self-care.
Syllabus is now available; firstname.lastname@example.org
Something to Ponder
The sacred attitude is one in which one is not afraid of one’s inner emptiness.
In Search for Wisdom and Spirit,
Thomas Merton’s Theology of Self, Page 50
Do you know someone who would like to receive “Awakening” every Friday?
Send us their email address and we will make it happen
Coming this Fall
Christian Mysticism in Today’s World
Course Description: This is an 12 week course, (2 1/2 hours per session), designed to help the student discover the most important dynamics of Christian Mysticism, both in its historical context as well as the many ways it has, and continues to develop today. We will use a three-fold approach, which includes 1) Defining mysticism historically and what it means for disciples today. 2) Answering the question, “Who is a mystic?” and 3) the way of the mystic.
Syllabus now available, email: email@example.com
Community Bible Experience
This is an encounter with God’s Word designed for those who wish to experience the Scriptures at a deep heart level, as a way to inner transformation.
Coming in the summer of 2017
The Gospel of John
Watch for details
Some recommendations for excellent spiritual guidance…
If you have others to share with our readers please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Knowing as We Are Known
A five week study in inner stillness
As taught by the author
Eugene T. Yotka
August 4, 11, 18, 25 and September1
at Epworth UMC,
7651 Johnson Street, Hollywood, Florida
Email email@example.com for tuition costs, further details and to reserve your space
Soul Care at “The Awakening Institute”
The focus of Soul Care is the tending to, and strengthening of, the human soul, which has been damage by past trauma, an ongoing crisis, or various negative life events accumulated over a period of time.
The human soul is created to perceive God, to contemplate God and to love God. In other words, the human soul is designed to sense God’s presence, to be consciously aware of, and to practice God’s presence, and to have a deep love relationship with God as a result. This is often blocked by the damage that life in this world can do to the soul. This is spiritual damage in that it keeps the soul, which is fed and empowered by the human spirit in connection to the Holy Spirit, from receiving the nourishment it needs. This blockage is often in the form of stress, anxiety, worry and depression, which blocks the life giving effects of the Holy Spirit upon the human soul. The heart of The Awakening Institutes approach to soul care is an eleven week process consisting of two elements. 1) A five session experience we call “The Journey”, which is an in-depth look at spiritual formation as a dynamic process where the human spirit immersed in the Holy Spirit, has an empowering effect on the human soul, which in turn has healing effects on the human mind and body. 2) The Journey is then followed by a six session program titled “Choosing Joy”, which addresses spiritual blockages and soul damage due to the effects of stress, worry, anxiety and/or depression in a person’s life. For further information regarding the Soul Care program at The Awakening Institute please email firstname.lastname@example.org and request details regarding Soul Care.
“Knowing as We Are Known: An Exercise in Inner Stillness”, by Eugene T. Yotka,
Imagine Seeing Yourself as God See’s You; The True You.
Imagine Living in Full Awareness of The Lord’s Presence in Your Life
Imagine Having a Deeper Sense of Being One of God’s Beloved Children
Imagine Hearing God’s Still Small Voice in a More Profound Manner
We all long to live from the center of an authentic self. Gene Yotka has provided an important resource for helping us identify and express a spiritual life from that center. His book is a gift. – Dr. Steve Harper, Professor of Spiritual Formation, Asbury Theological Seminary
Gene has demystified contemplative prayer and made it accessible to the average believer. – Dr. Stephen Seamands, Professor of Christian Doctrine, Asbury Theological Seminary
From Gene’s book I learned a lot about how to truly pray. -- Salvatore Buttaci, Author and Poet
Eugene Yotka's book changed my life. I have struggled with years of feeling lonely even though I had people in my life that I felt connected with and having been saved since I was 3 years old and felt I had a relationship with the Lord. But this book and practicing inner stillness brought me to a place of knowing God like I have never known Him before. I no longer feel alone and feel empowered to practice inner stillness daily to continue this awesome relationship with God. --Wanda, Amazon review
“Knowing as We Are Known: An Exercise in Inner Stillness”, by Eugene T. Yotka, offers a way to experience the true self where God speaks to our spirits telling us we are God’s children. We are created to live in the Presence of God, here and now, and to know inward stillness, peace, and tranquility as a way of life.
Available for $12.00 from The Awakening Institute for Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Direction and Soul Care
Immerse yourself in that still place within, in which God speaks to the true self that you have been created to be. This book is more than simply information about inner stillness; it is a guide into the experience of inner stillness itself. This is the author’s journey to that place where God speaks to our spirits and calls us children. This is a call not so much to do something as much as it is a call to be who God created us to be.
A Gathering of Spiritual Directors
This coming spring The Awakening Institute will host a gathering of spiritual directors. The reason for the gathering is to come together in prayer and to seek discernment regarding ways we can, together, raise awareness within the church of how spiritual direction can be a vehicle by which God’s presence and voice can be more deeply felt and more clearly heard, at both individual and congregational levels. If you are a spiritual director and would like to join in this conversation please contact Gene Yotka at 321-298-8801 or email email@example.com for additional details.
Have Something You Would Like to Share?
Awakening would be blessed to receive original articles, poems, or artistic work that would be helpful and edifying for those interested in Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Direction, and/or Soul Care for future publication.
Please submit via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Additional to our daily Scripture reading)
Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer, by David-Steindl Rast
I Am A Follower, by Leonard Sweet
Becoming Human, By Jean Vanier
Knowing As We Are Known, by Eugene T. Yotka
Let Your Life Speak, by Parker Palmer
Desiring God’s Will, by David Benner
Walking In The Light, by Steve Harper
Thoughts in Solitude, by Thomas Merton
Incarnation: The Surprising Overlap of Heaven & Earth, by Will Willimon
The Mystic Way of Evangelism, by Elaine A. Heath
A Hidden Wholeness, by Parker Palmer
The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Henri Nouwen
Way of Love: Recovering the Heart of Christianity, by Norman Wirzba
Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr
Between the Dark and the Daylight, by Joan Chittister
New Seeds of Contemplation, by Thomas Merton
Love Henri, by Henri Nouwen
New! The Divine Dance, by Richard Rohr
Like us on Facebook, The Awakening Institute and follow us on Twitter, @SoulCare_TAI