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 Six1
Five weeks ago we began to offer a flavor of the Christian spiritual journey by taking a brief look at the foundational brokenness that all humanity deals with. Week one, we began with an article titled, “Integration and Disintegration”, which set the stage for a discussion of the human mind in week two. Week three we considered a concept we call “Expanding Awareness” as part of the holistic re-integration that we seek. In week four we took a look at the “Transformation of the Body. Last week in part five we considered “The Human Spirit”, within the context of, The Journey. This week we consider the crucial, and an often missing or neglected aspect of the journey we call soul care and soul expansion.
Soul Care and Soul Expansion1
The Holy Spirit penetrates, transforms, and rebirths the human spirit, which in turn heals, empowers, and expands the human soul, which then in turn transforms the human mind and dramatically affects the essence and the actions of the human body. This is the gist of the journey we have depicted thus far over the past five weeks. Therefore, it stands to reason that an affective holistic position and attitude for deep spiritual develop must consist of an ever increasing surrender to God, which predisposes us, at our essential level, to a Holy Spirt soaking of our human spirits that brings healing and empowerment to the human soul. As the healed and empowered human soul expands, bringing this transformation of mind and body, it then reveals a transcendent relam . In other words, the healed and empowered human soul brings to our awareness the transcendent reality that it does not only exist within our perceived enclosed physicality, but is in fact interconnected with all other souls. Paradoxically, as this expanded awareness occurs the soul is simultaneously contracting to reconnect with our Holy Spirit soaked human spirit. This in effect is union with God, as the human spirit is now soaked, inextricably immersed in and penetrated by the Holy Spirit. The human spirit and the Holy Spirt are united, awaiting the human soul to join them. In summary, the human soul is healed and empowered by the uniting of Holy Spirt/human spirit. The soul then expands beyond our perceived physical confines to bring about a transcendent awareness of the interconnectedness of all souls and all creation, while simultaneously contracting to bring about an inviolable connection of human soul and the now united human spirt/Holy Spirt within us.
This is not the end of the journey however, as we are now in a position to know the interconnectedness of God in us and in others in such a manner and to such an extent that we become self-emptying, kenotic, like Christ Jesus (This is next week’s topic).
So, what do we have to do to bring about this amazing awareness, existence, and state of being? We can’t do anything, only God can make this happen. However, we can and must become open, nonjudgmental, and in the moment, to the reality of “God with us.” For this to occur we must be allow silence and solitude to become important pursuits in our lives. The Carthusian monk, Dom Augustin Guillerand writes…
“Solitude and silence are guests of the soul”
Soul expansion and contraction cannot occur without solitude and silence, both exteriorly and interiorly. Therefore, it behooves us to develop and to practice solitude and silence in our lives. This is a major emphasis in “The Journey” experience as offered at The Awakening Institute.
Ponder the following Scripture, which speaks of Jesus going out to a place of solitude and silence. Read it four times. First time, simply read slowly. The second time, allow God to speak to you and meditate on what you have heard. The third time, allow a prayer to develop in your heart and offer it to God. Finally, read one more time. This time just sit silently with God for 15 minutes, then journal your experience.
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. NRS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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REGISTER TODAY FOR ONLY $25 PER SEMINAR
Please email email@example.com 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
firstname.lastname@example.org 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; email@example.com
Something to Ponder
“It is our love for God that makes us most like God”
“Our true self is a self in communion. It is a self that subsists in God’s eternal love.”
James Finley, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere, pages 34 & 35
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 a 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
(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
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