Embracing Stillness
Stillness is one of the most powerful vehicles for becoming conscious. Stillness has an outer meaning and an inner meaning. Outwardly it means taking time for reflection and meditation, and refraining from useless words or distractions. Inwardly, stillness is the atmosphere of our essential consciousness. It is the energy of real love and presence. The inner voice can be heard in stillness. The voice of our real self communicates through the deep feeling, intuition and symbolism. 

If you are ready to transform your life, then it's time to slow down and be still. Stillness is the atmosphere of our essential consciousness.In stillness, we experience our deepest self as the inner observer. As we learn to observe and relax in stillness, we find the stillness of our being is also love. It is truthfulness. It is understanding. And it is beauty.To know truth and to open again and again to deep love, we must be still.In stillness the heart is restored to self-honesty and innocence.Stillness bridges the ordinary and the sacred, the human and divine dimensions in us. When we are attuned to this conscious stillness, we continue to live an ordinary life. And yet, as we are transformed, our outer lives may also change in wonderful ways. We will find the clarity and courage to let go of what no longer works for us. And we will find the passion and enthusiasm to fulfill our highest purpose. What I want to share with you is a path of slow spirituality. If you want to get enlightened quick, you are more likely to end up deluded and fragmented away from your human heart and natural being.This path of gentle self-reflection is sure to steadily enlighten you, without alienating you from your authentic humanity and heart, because it is walked on the ground of your own life. This path of conscious self-development is refreshingly simple, soulful and easy to practice. There is no special method or set of teachings to accept. There is simply your process of coming to know and feel yourself in the light of your real self. Most of all this a path of love, patience and natural wholeness. Here we begin humble, keeping our feet on the ground of practical action and our hearts open to the human experience in all its tragedy and triumph. Here we find the God of small things and slow change. We do not look for something big. We listen and wait. We take action and rest. This is the way of slow spirituality.

Throughout my life I've been drawn toward self-knowledge and spirituality. Driven by a passionate urge to develop myself and understand the human condition, I have engaged deeply in travel, literature, music and psychospiritual studies.

During my university years I studied in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This experience reconnected me with my Dutch ancestors and extended family. Today I visit the Netherlands at least once per year to give spiritual seminars, practice the language and meet with friends. 

While at college I also interned at a foreign policy thinktank in Washington DC. After graduating, I lived and worked for London. While working as an editor at National Geographic, I discovered the work of Carl Jung and found my calling as a depth psychologist. 

My doctoral training included spiritual studies, and I found myself increasingly drawn toward classical mysticism. In 2006, after many years of practicing conscious presence, I experienced a life-changing shift of consciousness. This brought unprecedented peace of mind, inner silence, energetic opening, and intuitive insight. I describe this shift in detail in my book, The Art of Freedom: A Guide to Awakening.


My spiritual paradigm departs from the more common, eastern approaches, although I have learned much from them. I do not believe our spiritual development is mainly about losing the individual self, or that the ultimate nature of reality is merely an impersonal background of awareness. Based upon my own inner experience and also my extensive study of Near-Death Experiences, I believe we belong to an eternal world of spirit and a divine Source or God. 

I believe that our real spiritual goal is to actualize our soul's love, wisdom, creativity and joy through the often challenging material play of Life, with our fellow imperfect beings. Once we have actualized our conscious nature, our psyche becomes more integrated and our personality expresses higher qualities. 

My life is devoted to helping people navigate this sacred inner process. 

Our essential self and soul is no illusion - the only illusion is that we are merely material, mental or unworthy beings who are separate. I do not believe we are here to eradicate our individuality - but rather to discover the loving light of our divine nature that animates it.

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- Carl Jung

Life presents us with the task of coming fully into ourselves - as both a unique individual and a spiritual being. When we misunderstand ourselves, our personality takes the shape of a false self.

 

As we gain understanding, our personality becomes authentic, simple and loving. Spiritual growth is not a matter of losing the self but rather, of actualizing what is true, good and beautiful within us - our real nature.


The essential nature of our mind is pure consciousness, sanity and wisdom. It does not help to regard our thinking mind as ignorant, useless or illusory. We just need to understand how to use our divine faculties in the service of our highest good.