Welcome: An Introduction

Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Many Mirrors of God

There is so much beauty and truth interwoven throughout all of the wisdom traditions and philosophies. God has gilded the inner linings of man's consciousness with a sense of His own. Internally, we bear the distinct signature of our Creator. Through earnest seeking brought upon by intense spiritual thirst and hunger, seekers from all corners of the earth have caught glimpses of His truths and reality. Expressed in the prayers, songs and written texts of man since nearly the beginning have been testaments of those who have been touched by His love and mercy. Man has always lifted his spirit eagerly towards His Maker. Empty hands, empty hearts, seeking to be filled with the only cure for spiritual drought- His living water; reviving, renewing, resurrecting our sense of hope and defining our sense of what's real while allowing  us to shed the illusions of what's not.

The full revelation of God's nature and reality, I am coming to believe, can be likened to the illustration of a multi-faceted jewel.  Now, I know some of my ideas might not resonate well with some people who read this. But they are ideas, and I'm not claiming to be without fallacy. I'd love to hear other people's thoughts towards them in the comments section. Using the said illustration, each religion, each spiritual approach and experience, is a mirror set into the jagged contours of the jewel at a differing angle from its neighbor, many times reflecting similiar aspects of God's nature but oftentimes revealing different views of His reality.

If this is indeed true  it makes little sense for one side, one mirror, to attempt to  "out-do" any of the other sides.  This would be a part claiming full revelation of what can only be experienced as a collective whole.  Only until one steps back and observes the jewel in all of its many different angles, does a more complete revelation of God's reality come into view and one begins to witness the many mirrors of God.  Some experiences I had recently, while walking a labyrinth for the first time, helped reconfirm me of some of these conclusions.

Labyrinths are paths that weave themselves in patterns that take the meditator to the center and then back out to the beginning where they started. They are walked mindfully in silence. I've always wanted to practice walking meditation on one so when I found out there was one at a Catholic church by my dentist's office, I decided to stop there before an appointment I had this week. I wrote an article a few months ago on walking labyrinths, for more details about the practice, you can read it here: http://ascendingthehills.blogspot.com/2011/03/labryrinth-sacred-path-to-center.html

I experienced a temporary moment of discouragement after I had pulled in the church parking lot and discovered that most of the labyrinth was covered in snow. Impressions of its outline rose out of the snow and there were parts where the path could be seen; a slushy mixture of gravel,  slush, snow and brick.  I knew roughly what this particular labyrinth was supposed to look like, having seen pictures of it online before arriving. And yet, all I could make out now were concentric circles in the snow. So, I decided not to guess at the path in which I would take and merely walk in the circles I could see towards the center and back out. Even if I was unable to walk the exact pattern of the labyrinth, that's not what mattered most. What mattered most was the mindfulness in which I approached the walk. I also made a mental note to return and walk this labyrinth again, next time, not after a snowfall.

A sign at the entrance of the labyrinth suggests to the meditator to begin walking with some sort of intention. A prayer for a specific need or something one desires to know or discover from God. For awhile now, I've been struggling with the apparent juxtoposition between the nature of God that He seems to be revealing to me  in moments of prayer and meditation and the more categoric version of God I have been taught and the reality of which I have never even thought of questioning in the past.  Am I leading myself astray or going in the right direction? Should I listen to what I feel my heart is receiving, or am I deceiving my own self, led by the wishful thinking and desires of my own ego?  

My heart's intention was: Where God are you? How can I find more of your truths? Show me your ways, tell me if I'm heading in the right direction.

I started off with the Jesus prayer, as I usually do, to center myself. But God, I felt, was telling me no, not this time.  I was glad nobody was nearby, save the birds foraging for food beneath the trees that lined one side of the perimeter. For, after a few steps of walking forward in silence,  within me rose this incredible desire to chant "om". So I succumbed to my inner promptings, and almost inaudibly at first, began chanting om. As I continued,  a verse from the Bhagavad Gita, where Krishna said he (Brahman) can be found in the syllable "om", flashed through my mind. 

I proceeded, step by step, feeling the pressure of my feet press down on the snow, hearing the sound of it compacting underneath, feeling its wet cold seep into my shoes. I could hear my chant become more like a song, as a melody formed. I just kept singing/chanting om. Concentrating on the short distance in front of me. Cool air going in through my nostrils, warm air exhaling. The sharp wind stinging my ears, causing me to draw the hood of my jacket up to protect myself from the unforgiving elements of an unusually chill autumn's day.

"Om"...Deep within me, my heart called out to God. "Where are you? Where can I find more of you? I thirst for you and your truth! Am I on the right path?" Images began to flicker through my mind. "Om..."...Great expanses of land, an ancient people trekking over it's terrain. Images of people, all different kinds, flashed forward in a brief animated collage.  An answer seemed to flood through my consciousness. "Where am I not? I am already found in every language, every tribe. In every heart."

I continued walking and in my mind I began to lament to myself. How heretical I am becoming! I feel I am hearing from God, but what is this that I am hearing? It goes against so much of what I have been taught...

I plodded onward in a steady and even pace. One foot following the other. Rising, stepping, pressing into slush and gravel and leaving traces of my size six shoe on virgin snow. Ripples of leaves shimmering like schools  of psychedelic fish all around me. Reds, oranges, yellows browns and greens all against the brilliance of the sky painted a bold cerulean.  God's glory pressing into me so hard, making me want to fall to my knees, yet pressing outwards simultaneously, filling me with the elated desire to take flight and join the wind in a frolic through the heavens.  I continued, centering myself, drawing myself into the present, and deeper into His presence.

I soon found myself about to reach the center. I wanted my journey to continue, I didn't want it to end. I even repeated the last circle twice. But alas, the center, could not be avoided and I found myself standing there, in silence. 

I felt this intense feeling of interconnectedness with all that surrounded me as I stood there, in the very center. God is in everything. Everything is in God. "There is no place or heart where He is not", I repeated the truth I had been given earlier out loud, to nobody but perhaps Autumn herself, who breathed all around me with the rest of Creation, working at shedding her last fiery-hued layers. Nearly as naked now as my soul felt.

"Where do I find more of your truth?" I found myself asking earnestly. "The truth is like the wind. You can't hold it, you can only experience it. You can only find it in the present. You seek too much to contain that which cannot be contained. Be at peace and let it flow through you."  I stood there for a few more minutes. Living heartbeat by heartbeat. Feeling life all around me doing what it does best as it indunated my senses with its energy and rhythms. I then turned and slowly, in the same pace I had pursued the center of the labyrinth with, retraced my steps back.

As I pulled out of the church parking lot I exhaled deeply. There is so much to learn, to discover, to experience, when it comes to God and reality.  There always seems to be more questions than answers. To me, though, that isn't daunting but almost exhilarating. It means there's no end to discovering the wonders of God.

So tell me, what has God revealed to you lately, of His nature, of His love? I'd love to hear about it. Please leave those and all other thoughts and comments you might have in the comments section. Thank you :)


  1. There is a big difference between truth and faith,,,that is all


  2. Thanks for those thoughts A ;) I always appreciate when you stop by.

  3. We all are on different paths but all seeking similar answers either through God/Faith or Reality/truth... there is no right or wrong way on this journey

  4. Each one to his ownself..life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself...and its upto us what we do to find the right path.
    Very thought provoking post Jessica...I love it.

  5. interesting the experience you had with the labyrinth ....I don't believe in using figures or figurines..but to each his own...if I'm gonna talk to God it's when I am alone with my self maybe with worship music on.....As always...XOXOXOXOXO

  6. Hope you liked it Justin..thanks for stopping by :)

  7. Alpana..thank you so much for stopping by...may we all create something of ourself that brings God glory and more love into this world :) ~blessings

  8. Bonnie, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. There are as many ways to talk to God as there are people :) Solitude is a great place to find Him, as is during the heights of worship. The labyrinth is performed in solitude...and I'm not sure what you thought about figures, but I don't use those ;)...perhaps you saw the figure of St. Francis in the picture..that is just a decoration that stood at the entrance of the labyrinth. It isn't really used in the meditation process...though perhaps one could if they so chose.

    Thanks again :)

  9. Love the post and your enthusiasm, Jessica! You are inspiring for sure! As for the jewel comparison, that was truly inspiring...For me, Jesus is the jewel worth seeking...what He did for us can never compare to anything anyone else has ever done or said in history! But like you said, many people try to divide the jewel u instead of gazing at it's many facets!! There is only One Jewel, many views, many reflections...Let's stop being so devisive is my thought...the greatest Commandment is to love God and to love one another. The Spirit leads us, not men (or women for that matter). As long as we stay close to Jesus...we cannot fail! That sounds so "Christian" I know...but the emphasise is on LOVE not religion! ~ blessings <3

  10. Wonderful post of learning and self discovery. The labyrinth sounds like a wonderful experience. Much like I have when I wander in the woods and follow what ever trail I am led too! God has been fought about and over for millennium, finding your own peace is the task. Your growth and faith are evident. Loves to you, <3<3<3 Jan

  11. Hi Jessica

    Great post on a most profound and encouraging experience. The letting go of our absorbed paradigms are I believe no threat to either us or the Divine.

    The Presence is everywhere if we have ears to hear the Silence and eyes to see its invisibility all around us. It's scary for those of us brought up through evangelical Christianity - our deep programming, tells us we're heading off to the Dark Side.

    Thankfully we're experiencing glimpses of the Light that gives Life to all, perhaps for the first time as our hearts learn to open up like a flower to the Sun.

    Walk more my friend and enjoy the freedom that Spirit brings in the midst of Nature's Dance.

  12. Wonderful writing, Jessica!

    May God bless you and keep you on your journey -- it sounds to me like you've found your path.


  13. "There is no place or heart where He is not . . ."

    If we believe that Jesus is Lord of All, the Word made flesh, we must also trust that He can speak to and heal, love and redeem, all who truly seek Him. Even when they are not certain that it is He whom they seek.

    Don Richardson wrote a book called "Eternity in Their Hearts" which documents hundreds of experiences by missionaries who, when they took the time to truly learn the culture of the people they came to serve, discovered that it contained the hope of a savior! Able to relate this to the gospel made it miraculously easy to convert them to Christianity. It fit the "God hole" in these people's lives perfectly.

    God is at work, everywhere and all the time. We need to humble ourselves to this. We need to acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and Savior and pray that He is leading all the world into His glory.

    (Labrynth in the snow . . . now, that's a new one on me!)

    Blessings, Jessica!

  14. Whatever it is we follow, whatever it is we believe in, there are always more questions than answers. Only be lookig at them, and finding what they mean can we grow!

  15. Jessica, this was a beautifully honest and unarming post. Your writing is fluid and lovely, drawing the reader in with an open heart.
    I see myself in this post. A searcher who hungers for more yet the traditional belief system that I grew up with has caused certain side effects of fear, guilt, and a very subtle superstitious paranoia of anything different.
    I could write pages on this, but suffice it to say that I have learned how to listen to the Spirit…and how to trust my own listening.
    I love your discoveries! God is in everything.

  16. Mary...thanks for stopping by, I really enjoyed your thoughts :) Jesus will never steer us wrong :) ~blessings

  17. Thank you Jan...:) I love walking in the woods as well...nature is a wonderful conduit to discovering God. ~blessings

  18. Thank you Dylan..it is always great to have you visit here and I'm not sure if you realize how refreshing your words are :)

    "The letting go of our absorbed paradigms are I believe no threat to either us or the Divine."

    I don't think it is either...but it's great to hear someone else voice that idea. I believe when we let all labels fall by the wayside, that that helps us shed even more of the illusions that wrap themselves around the truth, obscuring reality. May we all move deeper and deeper into the truths God has to share with us. And I'm loving the freedom...it's great to meet others that experience it as well...

  19. Thank you Scott for stopping by :) Many blessings to you and yours.

  20. Martha thanks for stopping by and sharing. Wow..God is truly amazing and I love how He has a way of speaking into all people's hearts, oftentimes preparing them to encounter Jesus,...your story definitely illustrates that :) ~many blessings

  21. Larry, thanks for stopping by :) SO true...real growth is only made when we confront the questions we have and seek the answers. ~blessings

  22. Leah, thank you so much for stopping by. It was great to hear your thoughts...It's always great to hear from others who can relate. I look forward to more of your thoughts in the future :) ~blessings

  23. Wonderful blogpost, Jessica! You are a modern mystic, from the sound of it. You're little more than half my age, yet, you've already had spiritual experiences of a depth and power that I can scarcely even imagine, although your eloquent descriptions bring me about as close as I can probably ever hope to come.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us and for letting me know where to come to read about them. I hope that you will continue on your present path to truth that transcends but includes all words and wisdom traditions, and that you'll continue blogging about it here.

  24. Steve...Thank you so much for your kind words towards this post :) I'm glad you seemed to have enjoyed it. I would encourage you to keep pursuing spiritual encounters, via meditation....you might just plunge into some amazing discoveries unexpectedly, you never know ;)

    I can assure you that I will continue on the path that I am now traveling on spiritually, it has yielded fruit, yet has taken me from some places of comfort where I used to rest in terms of religion. I guess that is to be expected though...growth is rarely comfortable all the time :)

    I hope you will continue to visit and join me in my journey as I share it here..and with you in other places ;) Thanks for reading this :)


  25. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. ... And ye have sought Me, and have found, for ye seek Me with all your heart ...
    For me, that’s the key, searching with all of my heart.
    This post on walking the labyrinth evoked a bit of sadness in me. I had a friend whose heart’s desire had always been to have one in her back yard so she could go there every morning.
    And so her husband granted her wishes and built one for her. But alas, he ended up leaving her for another woman. Then they all moved on. The memory of this brings sadness.

  26. That is sad...so sorry for that memory. :( You're right, though...the key is the seeking...it is our desire to know God that helps the door open and allows us to enter His throneroom. Thanks for stopping by Debra. So sorry about your friend and her marriage :(


  27. God reveals Himself everyday in different forms and ways, I couldn't actually just say one thing about Him. And I guess, that holds me in awe.

    For a moment, I brushed Him away. I couldn't see where He was leading me and I was afraid to walk a new path.

    As you walked through the snow-laden labyrinth, I felt myself journeying with you in there. You were so aware of what was happening to you. I loved the mixture of feelings you had. The Spirit stirs you to go deep...

    but then, let go and allow that stirring to envelope you totally.

    As I wrote you,I feel blessed today ~ God revealed Himself through friends and through posts :)...

    Thank you so much for your reflections :)

  28. Thank you so much Melissa :) It's amazing the different ways God will reveal Himself to us...His wonders and ways never cease to amaze me. Thank you sis for stopping by. I always enjoy your reflections and reactions to my posts.

    ~love and blessings