The Biggest Spiritual Breakthrough

Forgiveness is one of the really difficult things in life. The logic of receiving hurt seems to run in the direction of never forgetting either the hurt or the hurter. When you forgive, some deeper, divine generosity takes over. When you forgive, then you are free. When you cannot forgive, you are a prisoner of the hurt done to you. If you are really disappointed in someone and you become embittered, you become incarcerated inside that feeling. Only the grace of forgiveness can break the straight logic of hurt and embitterment. It gives you a way out … You begin to see and understand the conditions, circumstances, or weakness that made the other person act as they did.

– John O’Donohue,Eternal Echoes

 Forgiveness, for many of us, is one of the toughest spiritual lessons.

“I was so hurt!”

“They had no right!.”

“It is unforgivable.”

There is some sort of pleasure that we extract in being the victim.  It’s almost like a drug.  “Look at me, I was so hurt.”  And there is a momentary rush.

What is very hard to realize is that when we play the victim, we replay the hurt over and over again.  The path out of this endless loop is forgiveness.  And lip service to forgiveness will not accomplish the task.  There has to be a true recognition that the one or ones that hurt us came to that place in a set of circumstances that may be beyond our understanding.  DNA, environment, physical circumstances, and events way beyond our knowledge all may have had influence in perpetrating the hurt upon us.

The physical universe is most often not a warm and cuddly place.  We will be hurt, and that is inevitable.  Our attitude of forgiveness about the hurt, and the hurter, allow us to move on and not re-experience the hurt repeatedly.  And we have achieved a huge spiritual breakthrough when we can naturally adopt this posture.

Reverend David G. Hunt

A loving silence often has far more power to heal and connect than the most well-intentioned words.

I suspect that the most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. . . . When people are talking, there’s no need to do anything but receive them. . . . Listen to what they’re saying. Care about it. Most times caring about it is even more important than understanding it. . . . A loving silence often has far more power to heal and connect than the most well-intentioned words.

– Rachel Naomi Remen

As a minister, I am expected to know what to say to a person, especially in times of turmoil.  This can be a little daunting at times!  What I have found is that my best words are to issue an invitation to be heard.  (Being very careful not to offer advice unless it is requested!)

When someone is deeply heard, the processes of healing can begin.  New connections and new shifts of focus are often made.  Their experience is validated.  Last year I was deeply heard by several good friends about trauma from my past.  It was deeply liberating to the point that I am now able to acknowledge the events of that part of my past without a lot of the emotional baggage.

How do we deeply listen?  This is my approach.  First, I try to listen without thinking of a response, processing in a non-judgmental way.  Then I may ask questions of clarification or feeling (but as Dr. Remen mentions above, caring is more often more important than understanding!)  If it is appropriate, a light touch, or holding hands in silence is a powerful way to convey your care.  Depending upon the situation, I may ask how I can best help them, however, in many cases there is very little to be done but listen.   Closing a conversation with a prayer can be very therapeutic, but I always ask permission first.

I do a lot of work with adolescents, and found that simply listening is often the best way to communicate.  Not a lot of people listen deeply to adolescents, so when you do, the connection can be profound!  A great example of how listening can be the deepest form of communication.

Reverend David G. Hunt


A Spiritual Conspiracy

Love Is The New Religion / The Spiritual Conspiracy

On the surface of the world right now there is war and violence and things
seem dark
But calmly and quietly, at the same time, something else is happening
An inner revolution is taking place and certain individuals are being called
to a higher light
It is a silent revolution
From the inside out
From the ground up

It is time for me to reveal myself
I am an embedded agent of an secret, undercover
Global operation
A spiritual conspiracy
We have sleeper cells in every nation on the planet

You won’t see us on the T.V.
You won’t read about us in the newspaper
You won’t hear about us on the radio

We don’t seek any glory
We don’t wear any uniform
We come in all shapes and sizes
Colors and styles

Most of us work anonymously
We are quietly working behind the scenes in every country and culture of
the world
Cities big and small, mountains and valleys, in farms and villages, tribes
and remote islands

You could pass by one of us on the street and not even notice
We go undercover
We remain behind the scenes
It is of no concern to us who takes the final credit
But simply that the work gets done

Occasionally we spot each other in the street
We give a quiet nod and continue on our way so no one will notice

During the day many of us pretend we have normal jobs
But behind the false storefront at night is where the real work takes place

Some call us the “Conscious Army”
We are slowly creating a new world with the power of our minds and hearts
We follow, with passion and joy
Our orders from the Central Command
The Spiritual Intelligence Agency

We are dropping soft, secret love bombs when no ones is looking
Kind words
Meditation and prayer
Social activism
Random acts of kindness

We each express ourselves in our own unique ways with our own unique
gifts and talents

“Be the change you want to see in the world”
That is the motto that fills our hearts
We know it is the only way real transformation takes place
We know that quietly and humbly we have the power of all the oceans

Our work is slow and meticulous
Like the formation of mountains
It is not even visible at first glance
And yet with it entire tectonic plates shall be moved in the centuries to

Love is the new religion of the 21st century

You don’t have to be a highly educated person
Or have any exceptional knowledge to understand it

It comes from the intelligence of the heart
Embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse of all human beings

Be the change you want to see in the world
Nobody else can do it for you

We are now recruiting
Perhaps you will join us
Or already have….
All are welcome…
The door is open

-Brian Piergrossi from the book The Big Glow.

“No one hurt you so badly that you cannot heal.”

“Make no mistake: There is no sorrow in the universe that can extinguish your persistent luminosity. Your only work is to listen carefully to where spirit lives in you, and go confidently in the direction of that certain grace. You are the light of the world. It is time to bring your love and courage to bear on the healing of the world. No one hurt you so badly that you cannot heal.”

This wonderful quote is from the forward of “Legacy of the Heart, The Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childhood”, by Wayne Muller.

My wife and I were incredibly blessed to be able to attend interfaith seminary for two years, and even more blessed to have been taught our Buddhism curriculum by Lama Surya Das. He is a wonderful spirit, and brought much wisdom, light and humor to our classroom sessions. But more importantly to me, he mentioned this particular book in class. Since my childhood included years of constant abuse, “the spiritual advantage of a painful childhood” made this a must-read.

It is an extraordinary book, and led to some deep healing on my part. Reading this book soon led to other books, both during and after seminary, as well as exercises in acknowledging my past and sharing those experiences with others. Two of the most moving exercises were writing letters to myself as a 13-year old (and then replying as my inner 13-year old self), as well as sharing attunement with my younger self.

My most important lesson was that burying my past was not the same as healing my past. I recently heard a definition of forgiveness that I liked: Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been different. As I did this work, I began to understand some of the incredible gifts that came out of a painful childhood, and I was truly able to begin to let go of “a past that could have been different.” It has been liberating.

“No one hurt you so badly that you cannot heal.” I can only echo Mr. Muller’s observation with my own experience. If you have a past that haunts you, consider addressing it openly, sharing it with others, and uplifting it into the light. Yes, YOU ARE the light of the world. It is time for all of us to pull out of the shadows!

Reverend David G. Hunt

Try to be a little kinder

How do we move from our faith or deeply held spiritual values into a three-dimensional world of action?  I believe that our everyday actions require our close attention, and that they are the most revealing aspect of who we are to our Creator in heaven.  How do we interrelate with others?  Where do we go and what do we do?

I have adopted a lifetime motto, “Be as kind as you possibly can to every living thing, including yourself.”  As best I can, I like to use this phrase as a litmus test of sorts as I make daily decisions.  Each day we make thousands of decisions.  From “When do I get up?” to “What should I do about the hateful words from my co-worker?” to “How do I greet the store clerk?”  I have found my motto most useful in branching toward the decision that is most in alignment with my relationship with my Creator.

Aldous Huxley, the brilliant thinker and writer who wrote “The Perennial Philosophy” after an exhaustive study of the world’s religions, said near the end of his life, “It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘try to be a little kinder.’

The result of being “a little kinder” is that you will align yourself with many of the core tenets of every major faith tradition!  The golden rule is the most shining example.

Try it in your daily decision making and watch your world transform around you.  “Is what I am about to say or do the most kind to all concerned, including myself?”

Reverend David G. Hunt

The Prime Directive

The new year brings resolutions for many people.  So many things to do and finish in the coming year!  Since it is probably impossible to accomplish all that we want to achieve in a single lifetime, where do we start?  What is the most important?  Where should our energies be channeled?

The answer can be found at the core of every major faith tradition, which in one form or another says, “Love the Lord thy God with all your heart and mind.”  What does this mean, and why is it the first commandment, or the Prime Directive?  I believe that we were each born with a sensing, a connection with a God that can neither be seen with our eyes nor heard with our ears.  It is often called “that still small voice within” and is the heart of the Divine Presence within.  It is our heritage, our connection or bridge with Spirit.

It is only when we connect with this Spirit that we can truly feel the Divine impulse and be guided accordingly.  And how do we connect?  We get quiet.  Rumi said, “Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.”  The form of that silence may be prayer, meditation, contemplation, a walk in the woods, or perhaps a beautiful sunrise.  And what a pleasant change of pace to the cacophony of our world!

Find 15 minutes a day and, in silence, ask God where you should go, what you should do, and with whom.   I once heard a Buddhist teacher say that we should always meditate at least once a day, except when we are extremely busy, and then we should meditate twice a day!  This is wonderful wisdom on the importance of listening to that “still small voice within.”  So listen carefully to the thoughts and impulses that arise during your silence, and let the Prime Director guide your own prime directives for the new year!

Reverend David G. Hunt

It all begins with Thanksgiving.

It seems appropriate that we inaugurate Attunement for Life at the time of Thanksgiving. When we deepen our contact with that which is Spirit, Source, or God (or the word that best expresses the ineffable for you), the inevitable result is a profound gratitude for all that we are and all that we have.

On a cosmological scale, our astronomers and planetary scientists can describe the miraculous coincidences that allowed the planet Earth to simply harbor life. Some of these miracles include our distance from the Sun (described as the Goldilocks Zone, neither too hot nor too cold), allowing water to remain a liquid and harbor life; the size of our planet which has just enough gravity to hold an atmosphere; a magnetic shield that protects land-based life forms; the tilt of the planet; oceans to regulate temperature; our moon; and Jupiter, the gaseous giant that swallows asteroids and comets that might otherwise strike the earth.

Moving closer to home, our gratitude must include the miracle of our bodies, and the struggles of our ancestors to simply get us to this point in time. Our shared love with all those around us and the bounty of our circumstances will surely be part of our gratitude inventory as well.

Gratitude is the attitude that deepens our awareness and allows us to express the Love that is Source more completely in our external worlds. So, it all begins with Thanksgiving! Judy and I extend our best wishes to everyone on this special day, an outward expression of a deeply spiritual connection.

Reverend David G. Hunt                                                                                        Thanksgiving Day, 2011