Book Intro

            As we have entered the 21st Century what is our greatest need today that is presenting itself at the personal, national and international level? In my heart, I feel it is to know where we can discover the truth of who we really are from within ourselves. And even beyond that, to actually experience that this truth can heal the causes of disharmony and pain that we see and feel every day as:

     A lack of love for ourselves reflected in the inability to realize relationships of genuine love in which there is mutual giving and receiving and the willingness to work for the good of all;

     A lack of love for ourselves reflected in continuing health issues that seem to have no resolution, as well as ignorance of how to maintain good health of both mind and body;  

     And, a lack of love for ourselves reflected in our collective human consciousness that manifests as persistent financial issues which burden people worldwide, wherein it is very trying or impossible to secure a livelihood.

    Without exception, every human being on this earth experiences relationship, health and financial issues to some degree. The crucial question is: What is the cause of our lack of loving ourselves in our personal and collective lives? Where can we find hope for overcoming the suffering caused by the lack of love and be enlivened to answer the call that life gives us to love and serve each other? How can we live bold, confident and fearless lives?

     When we are experiencing conflict and suffering we often turn in many directions to find a resolution. We can turn to the internet. We can seek professional help. We can turn to drugs, legal or illegal, alcohol, sex and other addictions. We can turn to friends who often are unable to see deeper into the needs of our souls. 

     Choosing trial by error approaches often results in a drain on both our energy and finances with little or no resolution, which adds to our feeling of frustration and even hopelessness. Is there a way we could discern the energies at work in our lives and be guided to what would give us the depth of meaning and value that we need to live truly fulfilled lives?  

Transcendent Wisdom, the Ordering Force of Love

     This book is all about becoming aware that we are always called, invited by the Uncreated Eternal-Divine Source Light/Love to awaken within.  From the fullness of the Uncreated Eternal-Divine Source, beyond name and beyond form, we are brought forth out of pure love for love’s sake alone. 

     The higher spiritual traditions – namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all proclaim this. The graced individuals that gave rise to these traditions experienced the in-breaking of Transcendent Wisdom, the ordering force of the Outpouring Eternal Spirit of Love into their individuated human consciousness. 

     What we really need to become aware of is that this in-breaking to our consciousness is our awakening to the inner core of Eternal-Divine Radiance that is in and through all that we are, as was mentioned in the preface. What is crucial is that we can become aware of this core communicating itself to our consciousness which includes our entire being – our mind as well as our body and our sensory faculties. 

     We live in an auspicious time. With the evolution that has occurred over the past hundred years or so in the fields of religion, philosophy, psychology and physical science we now have a basis for a universal spirituality, wherein we can have this deeper comprehensive understanding.   

     The Uncreated Eternal Divine Source images itself in the created spatio-temporal order. The entire created Cosmos in its vast interrelatedness of stars, planets, galaxies, of which our planet Earth is included, is from, towards and ordered by the Eternal-Divine towards its Plentitude, its Fullness as Final Goal of our human journey, of all that is.  

     Our transcendent end and destiny are being realized in the here and now. It is the Vital Energy of our Final Goal, the Uncreated Eternal-Divine, Transcendent Wisdom which is the deep driving force at work in our lives, so eloquently expressed in the Hindu Scriptures:

You are what your deep, driving desire is,

As is your desire, so is your will.

As your will is, so is your deed.

As your deed is, so is your destiny. 

Brihdaranyak Upanishad   

     The deep driving force at work in us is the core of Eternal-Divine Radiance that is “One” in all of us. Our greatest challenge is becoming aware that we can awaken to this core within us that often gets overlaid with fear, which is caused by our being hurt and injured. This is especially true if we experienced trauma in our early developmental stages.   

     We do well to remind ourselves that the ordering force of the Eternal Spirit of Love, which radiates forth from our divine core, is the Source of all that we hold most dear – human love, friendship, justice and goodwill among all peoples of the Earth. In becoming sensitive to our call to be attuned to the core of Eternal-Divine Radiance within ourselves, we are responding to these deepest stirrings that proceed from our inmost heart.  

     We need to be aware that the highest that we are capable of has been unleashed into human consciousness over thousands of years. From the time of the emergence of our species, homo sapiens, until down to the present moment, we are faced with the fact of the depths of human cruelty as well as the divine qualities which the Enlightened Ones show us. 

     When we refuse, ignore, or only partially accept our invitation to be the imaging of the Eternal-Divine, the result is disorder in our thinking, feeling, speaking and acting, which dims our being able to be aware of the core of Eternal-Divine Radiance within us. The fundamental insight of the traditions mentioned above is that ignorance of the universal call of Spirit to us gives birth to grasping/greed and aversion/hatred, in which there is always fear. It is these 3 poisons as they are termed in Buddhist teaching that are the cause of our disordered drives, which bring suffering to ourselves, fellow humans/non-humans and the natural world.   

     The focus of Spirit-Centered Healing is the opening of our minds and hearts to Spirit, the Transcendent Wisdom of Love that unfolds our lives, moment by moment. In our human journey from the moment of becoming a zygote in our mother’s womb until we take our last breath in death, we are intimately involved in the divine-drama of creation. We can choose to play our part well by devoting ourselves to our call from the Spirit or we can choose not to.  

     It is awesome to born as a human being because we can each become aware of being created as an unrepeated, unique individuated human called to be the imaging of Eternal Love, the human expression of the Eternal-Divine to the world. In our realizing this, we experience the meaning for which we were born. In the Christian tradition, this is often expressed as our being created in the image and likeness of God.

     However much we may have been injured, whatever pain and sorrow we may be experiencing, what we most need to become aware of is that we are called to awaken to the core of Eternal-Divine Radiance in the depths of our hearts. Once we experience the ordering force of Love that radiates from this divine core harmonizing our mind and body, we know from deep within ourselves what we want to live for. 

     One of the most treasured sacred verses down through the centuries that expresses this is St. Paul’s description of love:

     Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1Corinthians 13:4-7 NRSV

      When anyone is expressing these qualities they are attuned to the divine core that constitutes them. To actualize these qualities is the highest we can come to realize in our human journey. What is so essential in realizing them is our being able to discern the energies at work in our lives. 

     Towards this end Spirit-Centered Healing emphasizes finding a way to access guidance from Transcendent Wisdom. The entirety of Spirit-Centered Healing can be expressed in the following verses: 

     O (name of Enlightened One/s you are drawn to) in communion with you I awaken to the core of Eternal-Divine Radiance within the depths of my own heart. What blessing, healing, illumination does the Eternal Spirit of Love now bring forth in my life that I may realize my path to serve the highest good of all beings?

     The Eternal Spirit of Love that radiates forth from the core of Eternal-Divine Radiance within us is a healing, blessing force which is free of all pain, grief and illness. And being thus free it can discern the energies in our lives that are in need of healing.  As we practice accessing guidance and open ourselves to receive healing from this core, we can experience profound transformation. We discover that we are able to choose what promotes harmony, love and peace in all our relating and to release anything which is opposed to this.   

     Generally, accessing Transcendent Wisdom is not a part of our conscious awareness in our daily choices to better our lives. In this book you will be made aware of how to become more conscious of it through making use of the Mind and Body Meditations and other practices. You will learn ways that you can access Transcendent Wisdom to harmonize your mind and body so that you live centered in the Spirit within yourself that is free of the emotional swings of egocentric desires, “What I want,” “What I don’t want.” In this you will discover a greater depth of meaning and genuine happiness in your life. You will awaken your capacity to enrich the lives of others with the unique gifts that are yours.

Devotion to Our Spiritual Family

          In our quest to respond to the call of the Spirit we are not alone. In the Way of Devotion offered in this book, what is emphasized is that we can turn to the Enlightened Ones, those great teachers of humanity, who awoke to the Eternal Spirit of Love of the Transcendent One who is the Eternal-Divine “I Am” in every person. We are always in communion with the Enlightened Ones whose lives and words have touched countless people down through the ages. Being human like us, they were graced to respond to their unique call from Spirit. Having experienced the struggle and challenge of bearing witness to the Eternal-Divine, they are wise and compassionate teachers, fellow brothers and sisters.

     It is these who are our spiritual family – both on this side and the other side – who truly love us and yearn to guide us. In merely opening our hearts to their being present to us, we can experience the One Spirit they awoke to, the core of Eternal-Divine Radiance being awakened within ourselves. With the inner conviction that we are seen, known, loved and understood by our spiritual family in our joys, our griefs and trials as we seek to embody divine qualities, we discover that we can persevere in following our path day by day.  

     The focus of this entire book is to open our hearts to be ministered to by our spiritual family, with all that we are, with all that we have, with all that we are experiencing. And as we experience blessing, healing, and illumination in our opening to our spiritual family, we can then with them minister to others. 

     Those who truly love us will always come through for us. To learn to always turn to our spiritual family and to be ministered to, and with them to minister to others, satisfies our deepest yearning – to be loved and to love, to love in the love in which we are loved.  We are all called to realize the life directive “to love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Life is a challenge to grow and expand, to be able to love in this way. It can be, and often is arduous. And yet nothing gives us a more profound satisfaction than coming to its realization. 

      I hope that you will read this book with an open mind and realize that it takes only the willingness to change the way in which you see yourself to change your whole life. May the meditative approach offered in this book awaken you to experience Spirit as the radiant quality of your being and may you realize the ever-expansive path of love and service to which you are called. 

Steven Distefano
Omaha, Nebraska, 2018