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Some opening thoughts

sunflowerThe Spiritual Dialogues Forum is dedicated to the universal search for spiritual truth. This is a place for dialogue, a spiritual forum where you can explore your questions and find new insight. Here we can consider the big questions that so often don’t get asked in our modern materialistic world. What is our purpose here? What is our relationship to the whole of God? So many more questions in our lives arise from these.

All too often we hear spiritual and religious leaders simply declare what is true from their positions of authority. But can we really use their truth? These monologues leave little room for discussion or exchange. Dialogue with Spirit and with each other is what we find truly valuable. Through dialogue we can discover Truth for ourselves.

Spiritual Dialogue begins with the most profound listening. We must listen with all of us, not just with our minds and emotions. Soul, the transcendent essence within each of us, is the one who hears the Truth.

Through our personal experiences and realizations, Life is answering our questions and teaching us in an individual way. Spiritual Dialogue, therefore, is not only sharing insights and discoveries with our fellow travelers, but it is also a hidden communication with the living, breathing reality behind all things.

As you might guess we love feedback.

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Purpose

Our goal is to create open and respectful places for spiritual dialogue and self discovery that reach across all faiths and belief systems.

The Spiritual Dialogues Forum is not affiliated with any religious or spiritual organization.

 

Contact us

Spiritual Dialogues Forum
Carmel, CA
831 624-2282

 


Our dialogue with spirit

Melodie Chrislock

Sometime ago I found myself pondering this question...What do all spiritual practices and religions have in common? It occurred to me that one basic thread common to all was the desire to communicate or commune with God or Spirit. From prayer and meditation to the chanting of holy names and Soul Travel, throughout time people from all cultures have sought ways to communicate with this intelligent Force.

If this was such a universal desire, then an ongoing dialogue with Spirit must be one of the spiritual instincts of Soul. Is spiritual dialogue the foundation of all spiritual practice? Is it the key to our growth and the expansion of consciousness?

Spiritual dialogue can take so many forms, from our discourse with each other to the most profound inner experiences. The most familiar form in the West is prayer. But sometimes this can be more of a monologue, as we tell God what IT already knows and plea bargain for what we want. Prayer works in our spiritual life when it is a true dialogue, that is, when we ask for guidance and are willing to listen to Spirit.

For thousands of years the East has used meditation and the chanting of holy names to reconnect with the source and move beyond the ego self. But these forms too can become rote and passive and fail to move us into deeper levels of awareness.

When chanting or prayer or contemplation become empty rituals they have lost their purpose. We are no longer really looking for dialogue with Spirit. We go through the motions, but we have lost our original motivation. This complacency is the enemy of all spiritual practice.

One of the most profound forms of spiritual dialogue is direct inner experience. This could be a lucid dream, a vision or a Soul travel journey into other dimensions of God. Perhaps we have encountered inner guides or manifestations of God that can speak to us at our level of consciousness. What we bring back to this world sometimes cannot even be spoken, but we have heard the voice of God.

As a child it felt quite natural for me to “talk” to God, but I had forgotten how to “hear” IT. All dialogue is built upon listening. But to listen to Spirit we have to understand ITS language. IT might use a dream to leave us a message. It might speak to us directly through another person. It might show us the truth behind the appearance of things with a sudden insight or knowing. IT might use symbols or visions or sounds. I always have to laugh when a bumper sticker answers some deep query I've made. This Intelligence surely must have a sense of humor.

But probably the most overlooked form of dialogue with Spirit is our human dialogue with each other. Listening seems to have become a lost art. We spend so much time in monologue and debate and just plain chatter that we seem to forget that our conversations with each other have the sacred potential of spiritual dialogue.

I was reminded of this the other day. For weeks I had been worried about an investment we had made in a local mortgage fund. Accusations were flying and no one knew the truth. This local investment company, with a flawless thirty-year track record, held $160 million of local money and it was looking shaky. The discovery had rocked the whole town.

One morning outside the post office, I met up with my old friend, Jackson. He asked how I was and I paused, “OK, considering we have money invested in the local mortgage fund that's in trouble.” To my amazement he said, “We do too.” We commiserated for a bit, wondering if we or any of the other 1500 investors would ever see our life savings again. Then Jackson said, “It sure challenges your spiritual perspective, doesn't it.” In that moment I heard Spirit loud and clear. I saw how I had subtly started to rely on material security and comfort. I had played into one of the great illusions of this world. I had lost trust in my relationship with Spirit. All of that knowing came through my friend's simple words. We wished each other well and went our ways. But the miracle of dialogue between us had changed my consciousness.

Spiritual dialogue connects us to each other and to the Whole. Through it we gain awareness and understanding. We build trust in our creative partnership with Spirit and take the first steps toward becoming a co-worker or co-creator with God.

When I forget to stay in communication with Spirit, I find myself feeling alone and disconnected. I begin to rely on the power of my mind to guide me. I try to understand life and solve problems without the insight of Spirit. But the mind is best when used by Soul, then it is brilliant. Without that communications link it's just a computer running its programs inside the box. Yoda's simple words in Star Wars...”Use the Force Luke”...are probably one of the most profound spiritual axioms of modern times thanks to Joseph Campbell and his lifetime of dialogue.

Our dialogue with Spirit can manifest in so many ways, but all of them depend on a childlike curiosity and openness of mind and heart. A key to spiritual dialogue is seeing all that we encounter as God, every person, being or circumstance can be the voice of Spirit speaking to us. Not all of it will be meant for our spiritual ears of course. Others are also in dialogue with Spirit.

As Soul, we are one atom of God in dialogue with another. Whatever our concept of IT, the Source behind all creation is listening. And, IT is speaking to those who can hear IT.

How do you encourage spiritual dialogue in your life? What have you experienced?

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