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Surprised by Grace

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How often are you startled by afresh spiritual awareness — a simple and unexpected new metaphor for your life journey? Discover 'nested meditation’ and experience how wordplay can open your soul.

This article appeared in our June 2004 issue. Recently I was at a friend's new home on a gorgeous lake in Minnesota. As I walked around the neighborhood, I felt that familiar culturally conditioned longing for More. The line "I want to live on water!" dropped into my awareness like a stone, causing ripples through my spirit. At first, my superego moved in to judge: Be grateful for what you have; you shouldn't covet what others possess. But I opted to play with the line instead, and here is what emerged: I want to live on water. I want to live on. Waterstirs that up in me. I want to live on. Waterstirs that up. In mepulsates an eternal longing. I want to live on. Waterstirs that up. In mepulsates an eternal longingfor what a breaking wave may know. In this piece, I was able to transform the negatives of coveting and self-judgment into a realization that my longing for beauty and abundance mirrors my ever-present thirst for the Abundant One. Writing this meditation was somehow healing. Simply moving the period in the first line from after the word "water" to after the word "on" -- I want to live on …

About the Author

Kevin Anderson PhD, Psychotherapist

Kevin Anderson, Ph.D. is a psychologist, poet, and writer who lives in the Toledo, Ohio area. His two most recent books are Now is Where God Lives: A Year of Nested Meditations to Delight the Mind and Awaken the Soul and The Inconceivable Surprise of Living (225 brief essays inspired by life-changing quotations). He can be contacted at [email protected] or through his website:

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