The Common Thread of Spirituality

The Common Thread of Spirituality

written by: Melanie McGhee
by: Melanie McGhee
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"I called to the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me and put me in a spacious place." ~ Psalm 118:5

I live in the bible belt. I used to live in the heart of the LDS Church in Salt Lake. I spent years visiting an ashram for weeks at a time. Before that, I lived surrounded by Muslims in Izmir, Turkey. And now, I live in the Bible belt.

Having this experience and my own inclinations have given me a rich and rewarding relationship with the spiritual teachings of various traditions. I find a particular delight when I stumble across a teaching in one tradition that mirrors the wisdom in another.

"I called to the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me and put me in a spacious place." ~ Psalm 118:5

And from the Lotus Sutra:

"The sanctuary represents

a mind of great mercy and compassion;

the robe represents

a heart of gentleness and patience;

the throne represents

the awareness of emptiness in all phenomena.

These are the three principles to apply

when the Lotus Sutra is expounded. (Lotus Sutra 10: 2.19)

Though practitioners are drawn to AAIT from different backgrounds, one common thread is spirituality. It expresses itself differently, from Buddhists to Baptists, but students who are drawn to this work seem to have a common interest and commitment to spiritual evolution.

The AAIT principles themselves are informed by my decades of study, training, and practice in psychotherapy, meditation, non-dualism. One principle in particular, "The non-dual states of empty consciousness are an indication and mechanism of transformation."

The way many people describe the experience of a non-dual state is empty, "spacious." We feel an internal spaciousness that feels deeply whole. It's like being put in a place of spaciousness, "cradled in the palm of God" as Dick Olney used to say. These states are essentially empty of thoughts, images, emotions, and sensations.

There's so so so much more to say about this and how we align with our clients' spirituality to better support them. But that's all for now. My friend and coach, Michelle Woolard Pippin mentioned the scripture from Psalms in a training video in her FB Group. It tickled me. Thanks, Michelle.

"I called to the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me and put me in a spacious place." ~ Psalm 118:5