My beginnings (part 1)

It feels like I was born with a heart after God (I wonder who was praying for me). I thank my parents for my introduction to the Christian faith at a very young age, and by the time I was 13yrs old a ‘spiritual crisis’ pushed me to ask the help of the minister of the church I attended, the Rev. Reg Spooner! It was he who introduced me to meditation and silence. He gave me a copy of a small book entitled Stillness and Strength and Contemplative Meditation by Marion Dunlop (priced 2s 9d)! At the time I didn’t realise how prolific this author was, but she had founded the Fellowship of Meditation which, by the way, is still offering support today (see link). I began to still my mind by using small phrases like ‘My peace I give unto you’ (Jesus’ words in John 14:27). Then I began to use abstract words like glory or holy which had the effect of not hooking my mind at all, and gradually I developed a sense of God, His peace, the silence beyond my thinking. I began to have what I can only describe as ‘consciousness experiences’ during the day, like a very conscious ‘in the now’ day-dream. If I stopped my thinking as I walked home from school or scouts, I could actually sense the now – a sense that I was actually alive, in my body, right here and now. I could sense the whole of creation around me in a similar reality – it was amazing.

As I developed into my teens so the normal activities and themes of being a teenager took over, but occasionally I would still enjoy practising these intense ‘consciousness experiences’. Later when I went to college to study as a teacher, I pursued and deepened my knowledge and practise of prayer by reading all the classics on prayer at the time (lots of EM Bounds’ books, Brother Lawrence’s Practising the Presence, The Cloud of Unknowing, etc). At times it was like the writer of The Cloud was almost speaking directly off the page to me, the student. I became prayer secretary of our Christian Union. I learnt that to be sincere in prayer meant allowing God to work in you a prayerful life. At 21yrs of age I had a very private but extremely dramatic experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit and suddenly ‘speaking in other tongues’ (ask me about it sometime – very funny story too). This if nothing else made me realise how real God was, and also how much he wanted to communicate with and hear the longing of the hearts of women and men. And we could use His language – of the Spirit and silence…

[For the rest of my story go to part 2, 3 and 4 on the ‘About’ page]

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