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Upbeat Spiritual Living:  Spiritual Practice Quickstart in 9 Steps

October 25, 2017

© 2017 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM.  World Rights Reserved

Meditation, spiritual practice, Upbeat Spiritual Living, Rev. Kebba Buckley Button

 

Many people wish they had some format for morning spiritual practice; here then is a Spiritual Practice Quickstart in 9 Steps!  Establishing a regular daily spiritual practice will greatly strengthen and center you, providing a stronger and stronger foundation for your spiritual life.  It will greatly increase the times and clarity with which you are hearing God.  For a starting framework, follow these steps, as you feel guided.

 

  1. Choose a relatively quiet place with a very comfortable chair, where you will regularly tune in to the Divine. This will not be the only place for your spiritual practice, but it will be your usual place for daily spiritual practice.

 

  1. Equip your space with quiet music and easy-to-reach controls for it, with a clock, with a favorite Bible, and with uplifting artwork and spiritual images if you desire. Include your journal and a pen, or your smart device set to “Notes”, so you can journal after you pray/meditate/contemplate/listen.

 

  1. Consider a candle, which you will light while you are meditating. When your mind wanders, and you reflexively open your eyes, you will see the candle, be calmed, and simply close your eyes again.  A battery-powered candle is great.  Some like a fresh flower in a dish of water for the same purpose.

 

  1. Go to your space at about the same time daily for your selected spiritual practice. This may work best first thing in the morning.  Some people “find” the time by getting up a half-hour early; they then are refreshed by their spiritual practice and find they do not need the amount of sleep they used to need.

 

  1. Experiment, then establish a routine, of reading, study, prayer, meditation/contemplation/prayerful listening for an interval you feel comfortable with.

 

  1. Journal about what you have been trying and how it seems to be working.  How do you feel all day, when you pray and then meditate for 20 minutes, as a day-starter?

 

  1. Notice you are feeling more centered and more confident. Words come more easily.

 

  1. Notice you are hearing more and more from God.

 

  1. Change your methods and routine any time you are inspired to do so. Meditating in the garden or under the stars may be a transcendent experience for you.

 

And journal, journal, journal, to see your progress unfold.

And that’s Upbeat Spiritual Livingsm!

 

Upcoming:  

  • Journaling
  • Contemplation practice

Note:meditation, Sacred Meditation, stress, Embracing the Divine, Rev. Kebba Buckley Button, Upbeat Spiritual Living

  • Inspirations for Peace Within has just gone on Amazon!  Be among the first to capture a copy of this full-color book that will bring you peace and uplift you all your days!

——————————————————————— 

  • Kebba Buckley Button is an ordained minister whose passion is helping people find their Peace Within. She is also a stress management expert with a natural healing practice.. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You, available on Amazon, plus Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office.  Her newest book is Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire.  It is available on Amazon in full-color glossy format.  For the full-color PDF versions, contact the office.
  • For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group: calendar@kebba.com .
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Upbeat Spiritual Living:  The Power of Setting Your Intention

October 24, 2017

© 2017 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM.  World Rights Reserved

intention, Rev. Kebba Buckley Button, Upbeat Spiritual Living

Ever think about the power of setting your intention?  While few think of it consciously, intention is possibly the controlling quality in a person’s spiritual life.  Many people are simply stumbling along in their lives, with their only sense of order set by the regularity of their needs to eat, sleep, and go to work.  But we can framework our lives within our spiritual goals.  And the same goes for our secular livingness.  It is important to set our intention clearly for how we live generally, for each project or challenge, for each day, and for each session of spiritual practice, of sacred meditation.    To activate your use of intention, write out your answers to these questions:

 

  • Who do I want to be, as a spiritual person living a human life?
  • What qualities do I want in myself and my life?
  • What kind of life do I want to see manifesting?
  • What do I want from my spiritual practice?
  • What do I want from my relationship with God?

meditation, Sacred Meditation, stress, Embracing the Divine, Upbeat Spiritual Living, Rev. Kebba Buckley Button

Now set your intention as to what you will go for in your spiritual practice.  Write out your intention, as it feels right today, and post it on a favorite mirror.  When you feel the wording or ideas need to be adjusted, simply remake your little sign with your updated  intention statement as it feels right at the time.

 

Did you feel really stuck, trying to answer these questions and set your intentions?  Sometimes it is easier to set a secular intention first.  So if you had trouble on the first pass, spelling out your spiritual desires, then try these secular issues first:

 

  • What kinds of results am I looking for in life projects (money, relationships, time, ease, clearing of stuff…)?
  • What levels of results am I looking for in life projects (make $100K, have congenial colleague relationships, get more done, feel relaxed and confident, reduce one-fifth of belongings…)?
  • What project or goal do I want the most?
  • When will I start, and in what ways, to do this project or meet this goal?

 

Now set your intention as to what you will go for in your first selected project. Write it out, or make a sign, so you can post it in a place where you see it and receive the reminder of your intention regularly.

 

Now, go back and review the spiritual living questions.  Can you answer better now?  If not, journal out what you are feeling, and try again later, in a time when you are completely refreshed and relaxed.

 

Every time you start your day, set your intention to make it a great day.  Every time you start to pray or meditate, set your intention  to have a powerful session and hear guidance clearly.  Every time you lie down to sleep, set your intention to have sweet dreams or meaningful ones, and to rest fully and awaken completely refreshed.  Get the pattern?

 

Notice how your life becomes replete with moments and hours of clarity, once you become aware of the practice of setting intention.  Notice how much more satisfied you feel, and how much more effectively you use your time for everything.  Notice your spirit coming more alive each day.

 

And that’s Upbeat Spiritual Livingsm!

 

Upcoming:  

  • Setting Up Your Spiritual Practicemeditation, Sacred Meditation, stress, Embracing the Divine, Rev. Kebba Buckley Button, Upbeat Spiritual Living

Note:

  • Inspirations for Peace Within has just gone on Amazon!  Be among the first to capture a copy of this full-color book that will bring you peace and uplift you all your days!

——————————————————————— 

  • Kebba Buckley Button is an ordained minister whose passion is helping people find their Peace Within. She is also a stress management expert with a natural healing practice.. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You, available on Amazon, plus Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office.  Her newest book is Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire.  It is available on Amazon in full-color glossy format.  For the full-color PDF versions, contact the office.
  • For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group: calendar@kebba.com .

Upbeat Spiritual Living:  Meditation and Peace Within

October 23, 2017

Meditation, Peace Within, Sacred Meditation, Rev. Kebba Buckley Button, Upbeat Spiritual Living

 

© 2017 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM.  World Rights Reserved

 

Meditation can bring you great Peace Within.  And conversely, cultivating your Peace Within brings your meditation practice to a more satisfying level.  This week we continue our series on Sacred Meditation, with excerpts from the book, Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine.meditation, Sacred Meditation, stress, Embracing the Divine, Upbeat Spiritual Living, Rev. Kebba Buckley Button

 

The ability to invoke your inner stillness, your peace within, is crucial to your healthy and full functioning in the world at large, as well as your ability to receive Divine guidance.  It is vital to touch in with your personal core of peace, develop it, and be able to rely on it whenever you are feeling stressed.

 

Some think it is more holy to suffer, as though if their soul enjoyed quiet, this would be spiritually crass.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  In the book, Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire, this writer explores the importance of this very quality in our lives.  The book also offers inspirations for the heart and mind, to get to peace within.

 

Following are some key scriptural helps to get to and stay in secure serenity.  Begin your exploration now.

 

  •  In Mark 4:39, a storm was brewing and Jesus rebuked the wind, saying to the sea, “Peace!  Be still!” and all became calm.  You can say to your spirit, “Peace!  Be still!” and it will help you to relax and hear God.   Try this in any difficult moments.  Say it to yourself silently in any time of upset.  Say it as often as you like.

 

  • Psalm 57:2-3 (NRSV) offers: “I cry to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. He will send from heaven and save me, he will put to shame those who trample on me.  God will send forth His steadfast love and His faithfulness.”

 

  • Psalm 55:1-3 gives us a beautiful short prayer to open a session of listening: “ Give ear to my prayer, O God…I am distraught by the noise of the enemy…”

 

  • If you are feeling unworthy of praying or of hearing God, consider Jesus’s statement in Luke 12:32, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

 

Meditation and Peace Within are natural partners.  There is a level on which all is perfect, whole, and complete. Practice affirming that frequently, and notice your journey changing.  And please write to say how your path is unfolding.

And that’s Upbeat Spiritual Livingsm!

Upcoming:  

  • The Power of Intention
  • Setting Up Your Spiritual Practice

Note:

  • Inspirations for Peace Within has just gone on Amazon!  Be among the first to capture a copy of this full-color book that will bring you peace and uplift you all your days! [Go to BOOKS, Kebba Buckley Button]meditation, Sacred Meditation, stress, Embracing the Divine, Rev. Kebba Buckley Button, Upbeat Spiritual Living

——————————————————————— 

  • Kebba Buckley Button is an ordained minister whose passion is helping people find their Peace Within. She is also a stress management expert with a natural healing practice.. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You, available on Amazon, plus Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office.  Her newest book is Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire.  It is available on Amazon in full-color glossy format.  For the full-color PDF versions, contact the office.
  • For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group: calendar@kebba.com .

 

Upbeat Spiritual Living:  Connecting With the Divine?

October 22, 2017

© 2017 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM.  World Rights Reserved

 

How much do you focus on connecting with the Divine?  Upbeat Spiritual Living is always about specific ways to uplift your spirit and help you connect with your Peace Within and your fundamental joy.  It is also always about living your life more effectively, according to spiritual valuesSpiritual stress management, for example, is very different from pop psychology’s version of stress management.

We are currently sharing a series of articles excerpted from the book, Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine (available from our office).  Today, we talk about Divine Connection.  The more fluently, deeply and completely you can connect with the Divine, the more you will experience both the highest and the deepest levels of soul satisfaction.

Each individual can develop his or her personal spiritual practice, to increase his/her connection with God.  Environment, time of day, regularity of practice, and style of prayer and meditation are all up to the individual. Working out the desired elements, frequency, style, and rhythm of practice should be an enjoyable part of each person’s spiritual journey.  What works best for one person may not be satisfying at all for you.  Journaling what results you get from different practices can help show you patterns and directions.

The Divine has been called by many names, among them God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Spirit, The Universe, Limitless Intelligence, Upstairs Management, and “Help!”  As a minister, I don’t mind what people call God, as long as they call God.  Through this book, you can learn to call God numerous ways.  Tolstoy suggested we take a pause:

In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, and look around you.

Many people talk to Heaven/God/Angels/Spirit/The Universe/Limitless Intelligence, especially to say what they want and what they want the Divine to do.  They give God their shopping lists, for relationships, conditions and possessions.  However, what is happening in the other half of the conversation?  How does God talk with us, or try to?   Specific steps to develop personal spiritual practice, can include setting intention, daily spiritual ritual, attending to the miraculous, journaling, contemplation, meditation, and prayerful listening.   Do you already use any of these?

Continued use of these spiritual practices will result in a closer relationship with the Divine, greater joy and peace, and greater results in secular contexts—regular daily life.  God is waiting to be heard.   Get into a closer relationship with God—and not just in an advisory capacity.  God can take you places you’ve only ever dreamed of.  Know now that your entire journey is blessed.

And that’s Upbeat Spiritual Livingsm!

 

Upcoming:  

  • The Power of Intention
  • Setting Up Your Spiritual Practice

Note:

  • Inspirations for Peace Within has just gone on Amazon!  Be among the first to capture a copy of this full-color book that will bring you peace and uplift you all your days!

——————————————————————— 

  • Kebba Buckley Button is an ordained minister whose passion is helping people find their Peace Within. She is also a stress management expert with a natural healing practice.. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You, available on Amazon, plus Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office.  Her newest book is Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire.  It is available on Amazon in full-color glossy format.  For the full-color PDF versions, contact the office.
  • For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group: calendar@kebba.com .
Stress, Peace Within, Kebba Buckley Button

Books by Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM

Upbeat Spiritual Living: Why Meditate?

October 21, 2017

© 2017 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM.  World Rights Reserved

Stress, Peace Within, Rev. Kebba Buckley Button, Upbeat Spiritual Living, meditation, why meditate

Why meditate? Aside from a general idea that meditation may relax you, there are profound health, social, and spiritual benefits from practicing some form of meditation. In the English language, there have been over 800 studies of the health effects of meditation, mostly since the 1970’s.  A survey study of these studies in 2007 concluded these studies were generally not strong in methodology.  Still, the enthusiasm for observing and trying to prove the benefits of meditation was strong.

 

As mentioned in the previous article, Benson began his studies of meditation effects when he was invited to observe a group of Transcendental Meditation (TM) practitioners.  They had observed that their formerly high blood pressure had become reduced with TM practice.  They were hoping for medical studies to document such effects.  This beginning led to a career direction for Benson, resulting in his leading key medical body-mind health programs, and much more research on the potentials of meditation methods.  Two examples of these are:

 

  • A 1989 study by Lipsey et al, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, examined the differential effects of relaxation methods. The study found that most methods were about equal in effectiveness, except meditation, which was far more effective.  In addition, meditation methods that required concentration were the least relaxing among the meditation methods.

 

  • A 1997 study by MacLean et al, published in the journal, Psychoneuroendocrinology, looked at health benefits of TM.  The study focused on people who began meditating with TM and continued for 4 months.  The researchers concluded “that repeated practice of the TM technique reverses effects of chronic stress significant for health.”

 

Ask anyone who has practiced meditation for a few months to a few years, and you will hear enthusiastic reports of relaxation, plus health and relationship benefits.  Comments on positive meditation experiences include :

 

  • Relaxation
  • Less urgency
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower galvanic skin resistance (GSR)
  • Balancing of health issues
  • Better digestion
  • Clarity of mental processes, less “monkey chatter”
  • Better memory
  • More creativity
  • Greater productivity
  • Detachment from invitations to get stressed
  • Peacefulness
  • Increased intuition
  • Increase in Divine guidance

 

So why meditate?  For your health, well-being, better relationships, and being closer with the Divine.  Are you in?  And that’s Upbeat Spiritual Livingsm!

Next time: Connecting With the Divine.

——————————————————————— 

 

  • Kebba Buckley Button is an ordained minister whose passion is helping people find their Peace Within. She is also a stress management expert with a natural healing practice.. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You, available on Amazon, plus Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office.  Her newest book is Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire.  It is available on Amazon in full-color glossy format.  For the full-color PDF versions, contact the office.
  • For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group: calendar@kebba.com .
Stress, Peace Within, Kebba Buckley Button

Books by Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM

 

Upbeat Spiritual Living:  Meditation Reborn: From 1900 Forward

October 20, 2017

© 2017 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM.  World Rights Reserved

Meditation, Upbeat Spiritual Living, Rev. Kebba Buckley Button

 

This week, we’re running a series of excerpts from Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine.  Last time, we covered the ancient history of meditation.  Today, we cover from 1900 to the present.

In 1922, Siddhartha was published.  This is Hermann Hesse’s book on the spiritual journey of Buddha, beginning when he was a young man.  This book caused a rise in interest in Buddhism in Europe and the U.S., as well as a resurgence in the 1960’s.  In 1927, the Tibetan Book of the Dead was published, sparking another wave of new interest in Tibetan Buddhism.

In the 1960’s, a fresh wave of interest in Eastern religions washed over the English-speaking world.  Transcendental Meditation, or TM, a form of mantra meditation, came to the U.S. and became popular as a stress relief technique.  Its founder, former physics teacher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, insisted for years that the method was not religious in nature.  TM was even taught in some public schools.  However, in 1977, a New Jersey court ruled that TM was actually religious in nature.  Maharishi’s reaction to the ruling was, reportedly, “Good!  Now the truth can be taught.”  And since then, the technique has been openly taught as a personal spiritual development tool.

Two research groups began in response to TM.  One was led by Herbert Benson, M.D., who was asked by a group of TM practitioners to try to document their improved blood pressure.  Benson was surprised at some of his findings as to the elements required to affect health factors with meditation.  For example, a quiet environment is not required, nor is faith.  Benson went on to author The Relaxation Response, Beyond the Relaxation Response, and 10 other books.  He founded the Mind/Body Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital and is Mind/Body Professor at the Harvard Medical School. Although Benson has been unable to medically document the power of prayer, he believes prayer works, and he continues studies to attempt that proof.

Another research group that took off around the same time was led by Jon Kabat-Zinn, who holds a doctorate in physiology.  Kabat-Zinn used concepts of mindfulness, from Zen Buddhism, and popularized Mindfulness Meditation.  He is a Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

As mentioned earlier, in response to these waves of meditation techniques born of Eastern religions, a Trappist (Cistercian) monk, Fr. Thomas Keating, developed and began teaching a Christian form of meditation he and colleagues call contemplative prayer. Another term for this technique is centering prayer.  Fr. Keating created an international organization, Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., for the support of centering prayer programs and information on the mystical theological basis.  Today, Fr. Keating still teaches many aspects of centering prayer and the mystical life, as does Fr. William Meninger.  Both live at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado.

Today, students of meditation may study with many fine teachers, in conferences, retreats, by reading their books and articles, and by watching recorded classes on DVD.   In addition to the teachers already mentioned, this writer highly recommends the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk.  His works focus on personal peace and creating global peace.

We are each where we are by Divine appointment.  Each of us has our own particular calling.  The wise seeker will look into the works of various teachers, finding her/his personal sense of being “at home” on her/his individual path.  And none should be concerned if their personal path appears to wander.

And that’s Upbeat Spiritual Livingsm!

 

Next time: The Effects of Meditation.

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  • Kebba Buckley Button is an ordained minister whose passion is helping people find their Peace Within. She is also a stress management expert with a natural healing practice.. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office.  Her newest book is Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire.  It is available from her office in full-color print or full-color PDF versions.
  • For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group: calendar@kebba.com .
Stress, Peace Within, Kebba Buckley Button

Books by Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM

Upbeat Spiritual Living:  Ancient History of Meditation

October 19, 2017

© 2017 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM.  World Rights Reserved

 

This week, we’re running a series of excerpts from Sacred Meditation: Embracing the DivineMeditation methods today are known to be powerful, for stress relief, relaxation, and shifting metabolism.  How exactly people started meditating– this is lost in the sands of time.  But we know different practices go back for millennia.  Here are some high points of the ancient history of meditation, before 1600 AD.

For at least several thousand years, people have been meditating.  Perhaps it began with simply watching the night sky, observing the transit of stars and planets, and experiencing a sense of connection with something greater— Divine transcendence.  No one knows exactly.

In the Book of Genesis, written around 1440-1400 BCE, we have this:  “[A]nd Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, there were camels coming (Gen 24:63 ESV).”  At about that same time, the earliest Vedas were written in India, and in those writings, there are references to meditation.

The Book of Psalms was written over a multicentury span, with latter Psalms apparently written in the 500’s BCE.  The earliest Psalm that references meditation is Psalm 19:14:  “[ L]et the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” In this same century, meditation practice began to arise in both Buddhist India and Taoist China.  The prophet Muhammad was also born in this century.

Between 400- and 200 BCE, the Bhagavad Gita was written for Hindus, referencing meditation, and offering instructions on spiritual living.

In 653 CE, the first known meditation center opened in Japan.  Japanese Buddhism began to flourish in the next century.

In the Middle Ages, in the 1400’s CE, a key Christian work was written in the mystical tradition, urging the faithful to allow themselves the experience of “unknowing”.  It put forth that, only by letting go of previous ideas about God, could we begin to experience the true nature of God.  This work, The Cloud of Unknowing, is a major inspiration for the creation of the Contemplative Prayer movement by Fr. Thomas Keating, Fr. William Meninger, and M. Basil Pennington, in the 1970’s.

In the 1500’s, St. Teresa of Avila, a mystic in Spain, wrote prolifically about the mystical experience.  Although she does not use the term “meditation”, in her book, Spiritual Relations, she describes entering a “a state of quiet or rapture”, and later says, “Everything is stilled, and the soul is left in a state of great quiet and deep satisfaction.” St. Teresa’s writings were scrutinized by the Inquisition, approved and released back to her after 10 years.  Clearly, her relationship with God was a strong one.

Next: Meditation Reborn:  From 2000 Forward.  And that’s Upbeat Spiritual Livingsm!

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  • Kebba Buckley Button is an ordained minister whose passion is helping people find their Peace Within. She is also a stress management expert with a natural healing practice.. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office.  Her newest book is Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire.  It is available from her office in full-color print or full-color PDF versions.
  • For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group: calendar@kebba.com .

 

Stress, Peace Within, Kebba Buckley Button

Books by Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM

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