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Ruth L Miller is an eclectic scholar with degrees in many fields of science and the social sciences and is ordained as a New Thought minister - because she keeps on seeking answers to the fundamental questions that make it possible for the spiritual beings we call humanity to live well and in harmony on this planet for generations to come.

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What good is a spiritual practice for “regular folks”?

The goal of spiritual practice is not to become some sort of spiritualized being, leaving behind the body and all that being human involves, but to become more powerfully the human being we were born to be.
What does that mean, “the human being we were born to be”?
Have you ever been in a relationship that made you crazy, because you knew you loved each other but would get into terrible fights?
Have you ever been frustrated because you wished you could help someone in your family be happy and well?
Have you dreamed of accomplishing something wonderful in the world but felt it was out of your reach?
Believe it or not, daily spiritual practice is designed to help you no longer be limited in those ways—or any other! You are an unlimited being and never meant to live in lack and limitation!
If we look at the teachings of all the great spiritual masters, we can see that this is so. The Buddha was quite clear that the goal of his teachings and practices was to relieve his followers of all forms of suffering and dissatisfaction. Krishna, in the Bhagavad Gita, tells us that anyone who focuses their mind and heart on the divine Spirit within would be fulfilled in all aspects of life. Solomon, the great king of ancient Israel, entered into communion with the power he knew as JHWH (not to be spoken, so written as “Lord”) seeking only wisdom, and was granted all riches and earthly power. Christ Jesus, the most complete embodiment of divine love and power known to humanity, told his disciples that they, too, could do everything he did, and showed them how by modeling it: ”every day he went up on the mountain for several hours to commune with (which means experience one-ness with) the infinite, loving power and presence he called “Daddy.” And the Apostle Paul said we are “joint heirs with Christ,” when we “let that mind be in us that was in Christ Jesus.”
When we devote some time each day to connecting with that Power, that loving Presence, we do just that:
1. we redirect our thoughts away from our usual chaos of problems and emotions and toward harmony, peace, and fulfillment;
2. we open our hearts—literally shift the rhythm of our heart-beat from stressed to relaxed—and so shift all the rhythms of our body and mind to be more in alignment with the “music of the spheres;”
3. we remove the blocks that were developed in the process of worry and fear, opening ourselves to experience the divine flow of energy and insight that is always present.
(for a detailed guide and suggestions for an effective daily practice, see my book Spiritual Success.)
These shifts in our mind, body, and emotions allow us to experience a different kind of thinking. We let go of the limitations that we’ve imposed on ourselves (or allowed others to impose on us) as a result of focusing on what’s not been working in our lives. These shifts allow us to begin to experience a more wonderful reality, in which divine love, wisdom, and power flows—what the Buddha called “getting off the wheel of karma,” Taoists call “being in the infinite flow,” and Christ Jesus called “Heaven on Earth.” We begin to get new ideas, new inspirations, and we begin to see things change around us for the better.
Those who have consistently spent an hour or more each day (that’s less than 5% of our time!) focusing on spiritual ideas and the beautiful quiet that helps them feel connected with the divine, report the following kinds of shifts. In the first few days:
• reduction in blood pressure and blood-sugar levels
• more restful sleep
• more normal hormone levels
In three to six weeks:
• all of the above, plus
• improved muscle tone
• clearer skin
• increased energy for work and play
• new ideas for solving problems
• less pressure at work
• fewer arguments at home and at work
In three to six months:
• all of the above, plus
• break-downs and break-thrus in important relationships
• a sense of peace in formerly distressing situations
• a desire to let go of things that no longer serve
• a new sense of possibility
• fewer physical ailments
In six months to a year:
• all of the above, plus
• new kinds of relationships forming, much closer to the ideal
• new, exciting opportunities showing up
• minimal physical ailments most of the time
• increased resources—funds, people, supplies, space—for fulfilling activities
And it just gets better as the years go by.
Myrtle Fillmore, who with her husband Charles founded Unity, was healed from tuberculosis and related symptoms within 2 years of starting this daily practice. Her husband’s leg, badly damaged in childhood, was restored to almost full function and length within 5 years, and he looked younger at 70 than he had at 50. Their almost-bankrupt real estate business turned around and they went on to create an institution on a beautiful campus that has changed the lives of millions, worldwide.
Thousands of people, in Unity and on other spiritual paths, have experienced similar shifts in their lives and work, simply by spending an hour a day focusing on their current relationship with and understanding of God. Here at Unity by the Sea we see these kinds of changes all the time, and my friends who work with Buddhist or Hindu or Pentecostal or Native American or Wiccan or Science of Mind teachings and do this simple practice are seeing equally wonderful results.
So a daily spiritual practice is not just for nuns and monks—it’s a way of life that makes life work… for all of us!

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