Ordained Interfaith Minister

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“God is like a mirror. The mirror never changes, but everyone who looks at it sees a different face.” —Jewish teaching

“To those in whom love dwells, all the world is one family.” —Hindu teaching

“Religions are different roads converging to the same point. What does it matter that we take different roads as long as we reach the same goal. In reality there are as many different religions as there are individuals; that is how it should be.” —Mahatma Gandhi

In 1992 a Buddhist nun helped me to learn how to listen to the voice of God within and to reconnect with my Christian roots. A deeply spiritual woman, she was delighted when I reconnected to what identified itself as “Christ consciousness.” She told me early on in our work together that her role as my spiritual teacher was to help me learn to “listen and follow” my own higher guidance. Once I could discern between the “inner critic” (ego) and the “inner guide,” her primary work to help me heal from my crisis of body-mind and spirit would be complete. God would take over, and I would learn to trust God for my direction from that point forward.

This worked so well for me. It was so freeing! It let me find my own unique path, without pressure to conform to anyone else’s view of God. I could integrate teachings from all faiths and from books, poems, and nature. I could experience God consciousness as a real, active participant in my day-to-day life. I could “go within, listen, and follow” to help make all my decisions, both mundane and visionary. Even better, it is an approach that fully respects the personal spiritual path of all individuals.

During my life I have been touched, uplifted, and inspired by women and men of all faiths. The differences in clothes, books, and practices that spiritually-centered people use do not seem to matter. What I notice are the common ways that spirit expresses itself through them—in patience, tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, integrity, generosity, creative passion, positive vision, hope, service, and unconditional love.

I have friends, family members, colleagues, teachers, and clients who all demonstrate these qualities. They are Christian (of all varieties), Muslim, Bahá’í , Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, and more. They find the word of God in the Bible, Koran, Torah, Vedas, The Course in Miracles, and the writings of authors and spiritual leaders both ancient and modern. Some find peace in church. Some find wholeness in nature. I am truly blessed to have such diversity in my life, and it is to the glorious diversity of God’s creation that I pledge my heart and service as an ordained interfaith minister

What is an Interfaith Minister?
The concept of an Interfaith Minister is contained in the following ideas:

  • An Interfaith Minister is someone who seeks to promote understanding, harmony, and love among people by emphasizing what is universal in the teachings of the many spiritual paths and faith traditions.
  • An Interfaith Minister has chosen to learn about, respect, and appreciate the diversity of paths to Oneness, and to look for the universal truth contained in each one.
  • An Interfaith Minister is someone who is dedicated to serving the spiritual needs of all those who seek their guidance, counsel, and assistance, without regard to race, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ethnic background, gender or age.
  • An Interfaith Minister is someone who is dedicated to deepening their own spiritual development and practice, and their connection to the Divine, so that their service to others is always grounded in the integrity of their own spiritual life.

My Experience of Spirit
I experience spirit as the field of intelligent energy that expresses itself as All That Is. Spirit connects us, includes us, and expresses through us. Spirit is a palpable force and presence. We experience its light and feel its warmth. We experience acceptance, forgiveness, and grace and feel its peace. We experience its abundance and feel blessed. We experience its truth and feel unconditionally loved.

I seek spiritual guidance for all my work—emotional freedom coaching, massage therapy sessions, writing articles, recording audios, teaching my children, and designing software/websites. I can say with confidence that I am absolutely NOT perfect at this! But when I allow spirit to work through me, rather than letting my ego take control, the results often surprise and humble me. I have a bright and quick mind, yet the power of intuition and spiritual guidance lets each of us tap into sources of information beyond what we intellectually know (or could know). I’m excited about the potential of EFT to quiet the noise of the inner critic so that everyone can experience the “still, quiet voice within.” 

Take What’s Useful, Leave the Rest
My Truth is not necessarily Your Truth. I know that one of the greatest injustices anyone can do to another human being is to seek to deprive that person of their God-given gift of free will and inner guidance, whether through fear, coercion, or charisma. I always encourage you to take what I (or anyone) offers… and see, feel, and hear for yourself whether it is true for you. I suggest that you listen not just with your mind but with your whole body. Sometimes our head is fearful when the rest of us—particularly our heart—feels the truth.

What doesn’t fit, leave on the table for someone else.  I always encourage dialogue, and will consider alternative points of view prayerfully.

I also want to make it clear that a non-spiritual approach is also perfectly fine with me. As a scientist by training (electrical engineer and computer science), I also discuss what I call spirit in the context of the quantum field of information and energy. Words like potentiality, choice, quantum flow, vibration, resonance, and action work just as well for me as more “spiritual” terms. To me, its all the same stuff with scientific explanations intertwined with personal and group experience and mystery.  Above all, I am grateful to have the chance to share with you these days of exploration and growth. If there is anything I can do to support you on your path, please do not hesitate to ask.

Warmest regards,

Rick@Thrivingnow.com

  • Valerie Naden

    you are amaizing to listen to i’ve always thought that all religions are different paths to the same place. i could never understand why everyone didnt see that.  but to me spiritual paths are individual so your comment ‘there are as many religions as there are poeple’ is bang right.  it is also my belief that science and spirituallity are not mutually exclsive how can they be the universe exsists within the its laws, gravity vibration resonance reap what you sow attraction movement balance how can they be separate?  only in our over developed minds, we have lost touch with spirit by allowing the interllect to be king.  when all the interllect was meant to do is serve and the moment we remember it serves and protects and we start questioning its every negative thought and challanging it then we see it is only able to serve and can gain freedom from it. tapping is for me a way to quiet the mind and allow intuition the voice of the spirit to speak.  thank you for your work on the tapping world summit i was able to see that i actaually have not been living fully as my true authentic self.  it was a beautiful (yet very emotional) moment for me. thank you. here’s to a higher truth and living it. many thanks.

    • http://www.thrivingnow.com Thriving Now

      You’re so welcome, Valerie. Much love… Rick