Wisdom | Dr David G Benner

Source: Wisdom | Dr David G Benner

‘I would suggest that, grounded in a deep awareness of the sacredness and interconnectedness of everything in existence, wisdom is living in alignment with the creative Spirit of Wisdom who inhabits all of creation and who is our truest and deepest self. Much more than information or even knowledge, wisdom is a way of living that involves every aspect of our being. It is learning to access the wellbeing and wholeness that comes through participation in God’s transformational agenda of cosmic whole-making.’

Faith and Belief | Dr David G Benner

Source: Faith and Belief | Dr David G Benner

This is the third of a 4-part interview of Dr. David G. Benner by Dr. Jackie Stinton, a Calgary-based psychologist and spiritual director. The focus of this part of the interview is on faith and belief.

David Benner – Human Being and Becoming

David Benner - Human Being and Becoming

This is a book I have wanted to write for a long time but was not ready to do so. My own journey into the fullness of being human was too limited and my personal wholeness too truncated. I don’t claim to have arrived but I have discovered some very practical and concrete ways of moving toward these ideals.

We become fully human by living the incredible adventure of the life we are given and the opportunities for love that it presents. The route to wholeness is not perfection but embracing the realities of our lives – including our brokenness – and giving ourselves fully to love.This is a book I have wanted to write for a long time but was not ready to do so. My own journey into the fullness of being human was too limited and my personal wholeness too truncated. I don’t claim to have arrived but I have discovered some very practical and concrete ways of moving toward these ideals.

Love is one of the three big themes of this book. Love is the foundation of all being and becoming. But the love I describe is not the soft sentimental love of Hollywood or Hallmark cards. It is the word some cosmologists are bold enough to use to describe the attractional force that holds planets in orbit and provides the glue that holds atoms together. It is the strongest force in the universe. But it is also the gentlest. Only love can soften a hard heart, renew trust after it has been shattered, inspire trust and free us from the tyrannizing effects of fear. Love holds all things together and grounds all human being and becoming. Continue reading “David Benner – Human Being and Becoming”

Stages of the Human Journey | Dr David G Benner

Source: Stages of the Human Journey | Dr David G Benner

David Benner on the two halves of life.

David G. Benner – Soul Friends and Spiritual Companions

Soul Friends

No one can satisfactorily make either the human or the spiritual journey alone. We all need soul friends and spiritual companions. One of the reasons for this has to do with the nature of the human soul and spirit. Bodies are substantial – often much more substantial than we desire! But souls and spirits are ephemeral and insubstantial. In fact, they are so insubstantial that they often seem not even to be there. Witness the many people who develop a strange look on their faces when you talk about taking care of your soul or nurturing a broken spirit.

Sensing this essential lightness of our inner being we tend to feel vulnerable when we recognize the spaciousness and emptiness that accompanies it. Sometimes it triggers outright terror. Our default defense in the face of this is to grasp onto our ego since it appears to have more substance. But unfortunately, not only is that substance more apparent than real, strengthening our ego in this way restricts our freedom, diminishes our lightness of being and distances us from the soulful and spiritual dimensions of our existence. Continue reading “David G. Benner – Soul Friends and Spiritual Companions”

Kathy Milans – Six Truths About Presence (from David Benner)

Cindy Keong - Presence
Cindy Keong – Presence

1. Presence is defined by Benner as “…the awakening that calls us into engagement with some aspect of the present moment” (p. 2). Benner’s definition reminds me of the concept of “mindfulness.” I have a habit of wolfing down my lunch in-between clients. Slowing down might help me to see the beauty of the orange that God created.

2. “The sacred and the secular are one single fabric of life” (p.115). How often do I separate my life in church on Sunday from my driving when the person in front of me dawdles far below the speed limit?

3. As an older lady, one of my goals is to strip off my false self. When I arrive in heaven, I want God to know me as He created me. Benner says, “We become the fictions we live we during the first halves of our lives” (p.7). He confirmed the task for my second half of life. Continue reading “Kathy Milans – Six Truths About Presence (from David Benner)”

Richard Rohr – How to Stay Open

To keep the mind space open, we need some form of contemplative or meditative practice. This has been the most neglected in recent centuries, substituting the mere reciting and “saying” of prayers, which is not the same as a contemplative mind and often merely confirms us in our superior or fear-based system. One could say that authentic spirituality is invariably a matter of emptying the mind and filling the heart at the same time.

To keep the heart space open, we almost all need some healing in regard to our carried hurts from the past. It also helps to be in right relationship with people, so that other people can love us and touch us at deeper levels, and so we can touch them. In addition, I think the heart space is opened by activities such as music, art, dance, nature, fasting, poetry, games, life-affirming sexuality, and, of course, the art of relationship itself. And to be fully honest, I think your heart needs to be broken and broken open at least once to have a heart at all or to have a heart for others.

To keep our bodies less defended, to live in our body right now, to be present to others in a cellular way, is also the work of healing of past hurts and the many memories that seem to store themselves in the body.

(Thanks to Dr. David G Benner for this quote.)