One of my clients, who has only believed in the physical level of experience, is currently finding that this is limiting him in his personal growth. He has been very resistant to opening up to any kind of spirituality, having had some very negative and confusing experiences with religion and spirituality in his past. He recently came to the conclusion that he doesn't really know what spirituality is. And so he asked me how I would define it. The below is my response to him. Although, of course, the subject is far more complex than this preliminary answer, perhaps others will find it helpful:

God is the essence of all that is true and real. It is truth, intelligence, life, love and goodness. It is all that really exists beyond illusion, delusion and fear. It is the source of safety and well-being from the broadest perspective.

The Divine is a high frequency vibration of love, of intelligence, of life, of truth -- and is the essence of who we are. People can be a vehicle for the Divine vibration, so can music, so can words, and many other things. The person or the experience that has been affected by It is like a harp's cord that has been plucked, and resonates to It's vibration.

When an actor, or a musician, or a singer, or an athlete, or anyone who is really functioning at the top level of human expression, gets into a zone where some perfection is pouring out through them, a channel has been opened allowing the Divine to express Itself through them. That channel being open is what causes someone to stand out as a star.

We can either feel in the Divine flow or not. When we are feeling in the Divine flow, life flows smoothly, it's clear to us what decisions to make, what thing to do, and in what order. It flows effortlessly, and blissfully. We feel in alignment with life, with whatever comes up for us. We get inspired thoughts for our creative work. We feel a lightness, a full of life feeling, a high vibration, a feeling of joy or bliss, especially when we've got inspiration flowing through us. We feel not in the Divine flow when nothing seems to work right, when we have to make a decision and have no idea what to do. We come up with a blank, run into road blocks right and left, don't getting inspired thoughts, and our energy seems stuck and heavy.

An important part of being on a spiritual path is learning how to be in the Divine flow more and more consistently until we are always there, which would then be a state of enlightenment. Being on a spiritual path requires receptivity, a listening for and to Divine guidance or inspiration.

There are certain things that open up a portal to Divine inspiration, Divine knowledge, Divine experience, Divine flow. One of them is truth. Having faith that when you get to truth, things work out, a solution is found, transformation happens -- is having faith that the way things really are (which is what truth is) is perfect; it is the state in which life works. People who live a conscious life, committed to following a path of truth, find that when we are in truth, we experience that life, in fact, does work, and that it is the avoidance of truth that causes our lives not to work. This demonstrates that life lived in truth connects us with an intelligent, Divine order in things.

Another portal to the Divine is accessed by coming into the present moment, the here-and-now. There are two approaches that come to mind for coming into the present moment. One, perhaps more commonly understood, is accessed in a meditative state, in which we are not picking out one thing any more than any other thing, and are allowing all experience to come in. It is a non-choosing. And we dispassionately float there in that state. Inspiration can be accessed that way.

The other form of coming into the present moment interests me more, and seems to have to do with what I'm here to participate in bringing in. And that has to do with accessing the heart of the matter in any particular moment, which is often accessed when we become aware of what really matters to us in that moment, and is where the energy is alive. And it is oddly difficult to do. It would seem that one could get to the heart of the matter fairly easily, since that is what the obvious issue at any moment is.

But often our conscious and unconscious minds cause all kinds of distractions and emotional defense systems, diverting us from the living moment, particularly in the areas in which we have made limiting decisions*. The job of our defense systems is to avoid experiencing what the truth is in the areas of these decisions. This is because when we made limiting decisions we decided that the truth about ourselves and life, in those areas, is unbearably negative -- such as decisions that we are unlovable or bad, or that the world requires constant struggle. And so we keep ourselves from being conscious and present in those areas of experience so as to never really find out what the truth is. Since we are separated from those areas of experience, we are also cut off from what matters most to us there, such as receiving love or being at ease in the world.

Moving through that to what is true in the living moment, where the heart of the matter resides, is where our whole experience of reality has the potential to radically shift. Coming into this pivotal, transformational place opens up what matters most to us. That is where our limited and distorted experiences of reality can be realigned to Divine truth. It is where the Divine can be accessed. It moves us toward our highest and truest intentions, which then connects us with Divine intention.

*Limiting decisions are unconscious decisions made in early childhood, which result in dysfunctional patterns.

Jane Ilene Cohen is an Intuitive and Transformational Counselor, specializing in relationships. She certified as an NLP & TimeLine Therapy Master Practitioner, and comes from a spiritual foundation that includes A Course in Miracles and the Abraham-Hicks work, among other influences. She has a private counseling practice in Encinitas, CA where she works with couples and individuals, and facilitates transformational groups. She also does phone counseling sessions.

Her current group is called "Getting to What Matters," a weekly group experience that focuses on moving through the defense systems that keep you from accessing what matters most to you in your life. The group process brings out into the open and transforms participants' defense systems, through dynamic and authentic group relating, which reveals the emotional truth under the surface. You can see a flier for this group at: http://www.janecohen.net/groups-gettingto.html

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