How Do You Connect To The Divine?

Adam Kayce over at Monk at Work has started two very interesting conversations. The first, How Do You Orient to The Divine, has generated some very insightful comments and inspired me to ask yesterday’s question about my Coaching with God blog.

And today’s entry, I’d Rather Be Rich Than Right, made me think of my own journey from a deep questioning into a deep connection with the Divine.

My struggle to come to terms with my relationship with God, Source, the Divine (use whatever term you choose) continues to this day, but it seemed to come to a head perhaps 10-years ago when I first read The Conversations with God Books by Neale Donald Walsch.

Soon after reading those books I was inspired to write a song (I was a performing songwriter at the time) that I called Thank You God. It was, and is, a beautiful song (unbiased opinion!). But it was over 2-years before I had the gumption to perform that song in public.

My upbringing in a middle class, Jewish suburb had exposed me to a religous experience that seemed – to me – devoid of any spiritual depth. I’m sure there was some true connection there, but there was no doorway through which I could connect with that spirituality.

So for me, the term God became associated with a religion that was all structure but no substance. So how could I perform a song that thanked God? It felt hypocritical.

By the time I wrote that song I had no problem acknowledging my connection with the Divine. I felt connected to Spirit or Source through my intuitive training and my ritual training with Malidoma Some and Francis Weller.

But the word God still felt off-limits.

I don’t remember what shifted for me on that evening when I decided to share my song. But it was a truly empowering moment for me. As I performed the song, a friend who had brought along some drums, jumped up to the front with me and started drumming. It sounded great. And it felt great!

The Divine, Source, Spirit, Great Mystery, God… The name doesn’t matter. It is the feeling that matters. But my resistance to the word God was creating a barrier to my connection with the Divine.

In that moment when I sang Thank You God, I released a big piece of that resistance and claimed a deeper connection with the Divine.

And I have been consciously striving to deepen that connection ever since!

So let me ask you:

What term do you use for the Divine?

Do any of the words that we use to call the Divine cause you to put up walls and resist your connection to the Divine?

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      5 Responses to “How Do You Connect To The Divine?”

      1. Greg Butler on June 21st, 2007 5:37 am

        I don’t put up walls when I hear references to God but I can understand why some people do. Instead of using the name of God to refer to the infinite oneness, wholeness, consciousness, intelligence, and light that sustains the universe, we see people use the name to promote a very narrow and sectarian viewpoint, that excludes people based upon their beliefs or lifestyle.

        I usually refer to God as the Divine Beloved or as the Source of Being. Connecting to God is the sublime experience of experiencing Oneness without a second.

      2. Adam Kayce : Monk At Work on June 21st, 2007 9:18 am

        Hi Edward (or Ed รขโ‚ฌโ€ which do you prefer?), thanks for the mention of my posts… I’m really enjoying the conversation there, including your contributions. Thanks for coming over.

        As far as the “Name” itself goes, that one was a journey for me, too. Rebelling against my mother’s church (and heck, lump all of Christianity in there, too, why dontcha), I had a really hard time with the name ‘God’, for exactly the reason Greg talks about. Narrow and sectarian.

        When I started having spiritual experiences, I needed a way to language it, just to wrap my own head around it. At first, ‘Tao’ worked, but that wasn’t the same thing as the Divine to me at the time… later, as Divinity entered the equation, I was introduced to Sufism, where the name ‘Allah’ was used.

        Thanks to an old James Bond movie, which made mention of “the Tears of Allah”, I had positive associations with that name. But it still didn’t link up with my experience yet.

        I had to experiment for a while in my meditation/prayer/remembrance time… saying things like ‘God’… ‘God-Allah’… ‘Elohim’… ‘One’… ‘Tao’… ‘Allah’… until I came to find that for me, the name ‘Allah’ resonated with the same feeling in my heart as the greatest experience of expansion and connection that I could feel.

        By the way, I always teach my students to explore in the same way I did, if they don’t have a strong connection to a certain name. I think it’s a really individual thing, and something that people should take their time with.

        Now (over ten years later), I can say just about any name and feel a sense of connection with it, because the connection has transcended the word. (I could go on, but before this turns into an autobiography… ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

      3. N Bonval on June 22nd, 2007 5:16 am

        I understand how he feels because I feel the same way too. When I think of God tears come to my eyes remembering all he has sacrificed for us. I grew up with alot of complications but it made me a much stronger person today. At times I would question God but my faith helped me to realize and understand his expectations. When I pray I feel him within my heart. I feel his presence wanting me to pour out my heart to him and it makes me want to praise him even more………………….

      4. Edward Mills on June 22nd, 2007 11:45 am

        Adam. Thanks for sharing your process in coming to terms with the name of the Divine. I would imagine that the process you used not only clarified the name for you, but was, most likely, instrumental in deepening your connection!

      5. Edward Mills on June 22nd, 2007 11:48 am

        N:

        For me, the tears come, not because of what God has sacrificed for us, but rather, because of what he has created for us! When I truly open myself to the magnificence that is all around me, it is hard to not feel the tears streaming down my face.

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