In May, 2014 Geoff Cutler, James and Paula Reid hosted a Divine Love retreat in Caloundra, Australia. Helge, Terry, Al and I were most fortunate to attend and had an amazing experience, meeting a wonderful group of people representing diverse beliefs and spiritual practices. It was at this retreat that Geoff coined the phrase: "The Gibsons Method"....My initial reaction was "Gibsons Method"? What's that? But the flattering term kind of "stuck" in my head and indeed, the whole experience in Caloundra caused those of us here on the west coast of Canada to reflect on our prayer practice, our purpose and overall how we did things. Out of this naval gazing, we kind of solidified our cultural norms and rituals.
During 2013 and 2014 Terry, Al and I were most fortunate to attend Divine Love retreats in different parts of the world (also attended by Geoff); in these exceptional gatherings we hungered to meet other Divine Love followers to find out what they were doing. We shared our histories, our stories and prayerful practices with each other. Our horizons were expanded-- over and over the Angels told us they wanted us to connect deeply with others around the world in prayer....to play a role in creating and connecting with others in order to develop a network of light around the planet. In August, 2015, DLSF hosted a Divine Love Retreat in Gibsons that was attended by Divine Love followers from Europe, Africa, across the U.S. and Canada! It was during this retreat that Geoff asked us to please "spell it out" -- to write it down! He asked for step-by-step instructions. So here it is -- finally! "The Gibsons Method" for Creating Circles of Light!
It's only taken 4 years....but without Terry's persistence in getting the job done we'd still just be naval gazing! Here's to you, Geoff, with all our love! You are the one who keeps prodding us along, challenging us in many ways. Thanks for your patience and we sincerely hope this is what you had in mind and that it may provide others with mutual support. These kind of documents are, of course, "living documents"....and as we continue to grow in The Love and learn more from others, we will need to make changes. We are hungry for feedback from others and welcome your comments and suggestions. God Bless us all....with deepest gratitude to Terry! Love Jeanne
Creating “Circles of Light”
This Guide was developed in response to requests coming from individuals in many parts of the world who understand the benefits of group prayer. It is offered as a tool kit of tried and true methods for initiating and sustaining prayer circles or “Circles of Light”. It is not prescriptive but rather descriptive of what has been successful in bringing together in prayer for Divine Love, people of diverse cultures and spiritual backgrounds, including Christians, Muslims, Jews, Zoroastrians, Agnostics, Buddhists. The suggestions are based on the experiences of a prayer circle on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada meeting continuously for over 40 years. In recent years, additional prayer groups have been formed in Gibsons, Burnaby, and Abbotsford, Canada; Germany, Wales, and Hawaii, while some virtual prayer circles meet via Skype.
We hope you will experiment, adapting our suggestions to your own unique context and culture. We are available for free consultation and ongoing support. We are only a phone call or video conference call away; we can visit your community to help you get started or support your
efforts in other ways including facilitating workshops and study groups.
What is a Circle of Light?
A circle of light is a group of people that meets regularly for silent prayer to ask for and receive the Divine Love of our Creator/God/The Source/The One/Father/Mother/OverSoul/Great Spirit. As individuals, everyone has their own personal and private prayer practice. Group prayer is never a substitute for individual prayer which is the cornerstone of spiritual progression. People choose to participate in group prayer to learn from and support one another in their spiritual journey and because of the great power generated by collective prayer focused on a single
purpose - to ask for and receive the Love of God.
Group prayer with this singleness of purpose opens the soul to Divine Love, attracts the Highest Angelic Beings, generates great Light and healing energy beneficial both to those praying and those for whom they pray. Spirits from many levels are drawn to the Light and receive many blessings that help them on their spiritual journey. Each prayer circle contributes to a global,
interconnected network of Light through which Healing comes to the world and all creation.
What is Divine Love?
We believe as taught in the Padgett Messages that there are two pathways to spiritual progression, the Divine Path and the Natural Path. We are born with natural love and the refinement and development of this love is defined as the Natural Path. A soul purified in the natural love reaches the highest sphere of the Spirit World to become the perfect man or woman. The Divine Love exists outside ourselves, a blessing from our Creator that must be asked for of our own free will. As the Divine Love purifies and transforms our souls, we will become at one with our Creator. Both loves are complementary and vital for our spiritual progression.
How to Pray
Prayer is an intimate and personal conversation with our Creator that usually begins with words and shifts to longing from one’s soul. The purpose of prayer is to reach for our Creator with our love as the Creator is reaching for us, asking for the gift of Divine Love. We choose thoughts of gratitude and thankfulness for our many blessings, focusing on the Love, releasing mental distractions and being receptive to the Presence of our Creator. We pray with singleness of purpose, for the Love, knowing that all blessings will come with the Love in Divine Time.
Circles start with one or two people who believe in the value of group prayer for Divine Love and reach out to others to invite them to join in. The central message is that God is Love; each soul can know God through His Gift of Love through silent prayer for this gift; that this gift must be experienced as it is beyond words. Those of us fortunate enough to have had the experience of regular group prayer for Divine Love believe it is a blessing that augments greatly one’s individual prayer practice and are eager to include other seeking souls in our groups. However, we do not proselytize or preach or attempt to “convert” others as we deeply respect free will. We recognize that it is a free will choice whether to turn to God for His Gift of Love. Each person must make this decision for themselves; no one can choose for another. The best we can do is to grow in the Love ourselves and be alert to our guidance when interacting with others, for the hints that allow us to engage in spiritual conversations that may result in their asking, or us inviting them, to join our prayer group. It takes trust for people to confide their spiritual yearning or curiosity, and when they do, the invitation can be made.
A number of us found the Truth of God’s Love through speaking with those who knew it; others found it through the books of Padgett Messages; still others through Divine Love websites.
In summary, we find people who may be strangers or those within our networks with whom we feel a resonance that prompts us to invite them to our prayer circle. Word spreads, others come and all are welcome!
Most circles begin small and can be comfortably accommodated in the home of the host/hostess. If this is the case, the host/hostess will arrange seating in a circle, paying attention to temperature, lighting, reduction of distracting noises, turning off phones and cell phones, perhaps placing a note at the entrance to ensure privacy by indicating that meditation is in progress.
If the group becomes too large to fit comfortably in the home of a member, the group itself can brainstorm alternative settings that may be available free of charge or for a small fee.
The group decides on an appropriate day and time. The host/hostess sends out an email reminder shortly before the agreed upon date asking for confirmation of attendance so there is a basis for arranging the meeting space and planning the quantity of food to be shared afterward. A regular day and time provides a rhythm, a discipline, and allows others unable to attend to predict when the prayer is taking place so they can join in from however far away.
It is agreed that everyone arrives in plenty of time so the prayer can begin as scheduled. Predictable start times are vital as individuals and groups join in from other time zones and locations throughout the world. Prayer times are posted on the Divine Love Sanctuary Website and circulated via email to our mailing list.
The host/hostess’ role is to welcome everyone, ensure they are comfortable and if there is a new member joining the group, to ask group members to greet that person. If the group is meeting for the very first time, a good way to begin is to invite each person to introduce themselves, share briefly about their spiritual life, how they came to the circle and anything personal they think may be relevant.
To facilitate the flow of energy around the circle, people take off their shoes, uncross their legs and sit comfortably but alertly. Prayer is an active process of reaching with one’s soul for the Love and falling asleep is to be avoided.
These vary from group to group, as they are shaped by the participants themselves. In Frankfurt, for example, the group begins promptly at the agreed upon time by reading a channeled message or a prayer, playing a short piece of classical piano music, followed by everyone in the circle saying their name while the others send him/her love. Then group members join hands, chimes are sounded by one person and the group goes into silent prayer for about half an hour. Someone takes responsibility to sound the chimes to signal the end of prayer time. Shortly after, people may begin sharing their experiences, followed by socializing with tea and cookies.
In West Vancouver someone says a prayer on behalf of the group, or each person may state their intentions for prayer, followed by an hour of silence with no music being played. This silence goes beyond mediation in which the focus is to clear the mind and elevate consciousness; it is silence in the service of the intensely desired goal of receiving the Presence of God. After a closing prayer is said by a group member, the group gradually comes to ordinary consciousness and people sometimes share visions, impressions, or guidance they may have experienced. The group then gathers around the dining room table to socialize, have spiritual discussion and enjoy food that each person has brought.
In Gibsons, the process is much the same except that relaxing music is played quietly in the background during the silent prayer. A beautiful pottery bowl (created by Al Fike) is used as a “blessings bowl” into which we place slips of paper with the names of those for whom we make prayer requests. Such a bowl is also used in Frankfurt, West Vancouver and Abbotsford.
Other prayer gatherings may begin with the singing of hymns that raise spiritual energy, or by each person saying a prayer out loud before the silent prayer begins, or in other ways agreed upon by the group. Some groups say the Prayer Perfect, available in the Padgett Messages. In the early stages of a group, it helps for the host/hostess to model praying out loud, sharing this task with others once they are comfortable. The opening prayer always includes a request for Divine Love and for the cloak of protection from all spirit and influence that are not Celestial, in affirmation that we are reaching for the Highest.
The West Vancouver and Gibsons groups are blessed by the participation of two mediums who have been praying for Divine Love for decades and channel Celestial Angels. Because of their gifts and soul growth, Celestials are able communicate teachings to us that are later transcribed and shared via email with our global networks. The free will choice of the mediums to serve in this capacity must be matched by the choice of group members to support them by sending them love and praying for the cloak of protection to surround them, so that they may be free of all spirit and influence that is not Celestial.
The primary purpose of gathering in group prayer is to reach for Divine Love. Receiving messages is a bonus that does not occur every time we pray and is not necessary for individuals to achieve their purpose of growing in the Love.
Preparation for Group Prayer
A private personal prayer life through which one builds a relationship with God through Love is the best preparation for group prayer. Be aware that the group is a gift that allows one to practice Love by putting aside all judgmental thoughts and all negative feelings towards others in the group. Regard participation in the group as a privilege and opportunity to build spiritual relationships with others who have in common a yearning for closeness with God, however different they may be in other ways from oneself. With membership comes responsibility for keeping one’s thoughts and actions towards others in alignment with Love.
Some participants prepare for the prayer by eating lightly or not at all on the day of the gathering. All are encouraged to prepare by making an extra effort to keep their thoughts positive and to pray for everyone in the group.
The host/hostess must be clear that progress in God’s Love is not made intellectually but at a soul level through the actual reception of Divine Love into one’s soul. The diverse belief systems to which people are attached could become a barrier if one allows oneself or others to become caught up in argumentation. The host/hostess must speak their understanding of the “Truth” with humility, with a recognition that how they understand and frame the “Truth” reflects their current soul growth and may change over time. They must model listening without judgment to what another’s current beliefs and understandings are, showing genuine respect for them as a person by doing so.
Through treating others in this way, the host/hostess demonstrates that membership in the group requires only the belief that God’s Love is real, and that with its possession, Truth will come at the right time, in the right way and error will fall away as a natural consequence of being close to the Source of all Truth.
The host/hostess must have faith that sincere prayer for the Love will transform all aspects of us that are in error or out of harmony with the One Truth of God’s Love. Their role is to keep the group focused on praying for the Love rather than becoming side-tracked in divisive arguments.
The best time for discussion is not before the prayer when people would be too much “in their heads” but afterwards, when everyone is more heart centred and able to hear one another with openness and acceptance of differences.
As relationships of trust grow, as people feel safe in the group, heartfelt spiritual conversations will occur from which everyone will learn, including the host/hostess. As individuals make progress in the Love, the quality of their listening will grow, their souls will honour one another and differences in their beliefs will not be an issue.
The humility of the host/hostess is based on knowing that all are equally loved by God, that there is no hierarchy in the group, that each person has gifts to offer that are needed and are to be valued. The host/hostess treats each person accordingly, thus setting the standard for how others conduct themselves and making the group a place of safety for all where mutual trust can flourish.
Prayer groups that follow these guidelines become spiritual families with rewards that are both seen and unseen. The more visible outcomes are the love-bonds that grow as relationships develop between people. We support one another in many ways as we progress in God’s Love. More subtle blessings include the mutual healing that occurs as our chemicals are mixed and spiritual bonds are forged.
When we meet to pray, our prayers and the light generated attract many in spirit who are seeking. They learn from us and from the Angels who assist and guide us. We too, learn from one another as we converse about our prayer lives, our personal challenges and the insights we are gaining.
The deep inner peace, the healing, the Love are experienced as blessings we take into our personal and work lives with positive effects on ourselves and all with whom we come into contact. Our group prayer has a ripple effect, like a stone thrown into the water, contributing not only to local but also to global healing.
Group prayer for Divine Love brings blessings for each participant, for those they are connected to, both here and in spirit, and blessings for the planet as the Light generated by our prayers is used for the healing of the earth and all its creatures.
This guide was written by Terry Adler in collaboration with members of
the Divine Love Sanctuary Foundation (DLSF)
News from the board - DIVINE LOVE SANCTUARY FOUNDATION.
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