"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." (Psalm 91:1 KJV)

This site is dedicated to anyone who has searched for God their whole life. Maybe you've been a church member for years, going to every meeting and staying late. When there's an alter call for prayer you don't hesitate. Then when its over you somehow feel hollow.

Its not that you doubt God. You've read books like, "Evidence that demands a verdict" and believe the Bible completely. Maybe you've gone on short mission trips with a church group. You witness to anyone who asks you about your faith and you make sure to tithe. You've seen God's blessing in your life and miraculous answers to prayer.

Maybe, like me, you long for more. There are times when you feel the Holy Spirit moving in a church service and have that exhilarating sense that anything can happen. And more than anything you long for God Himself. God is in your heart and you know you'll be with Him forever, but on some level there is a terrible sadness. He seems to come and go throughout your life, like footprints in the sand:

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonging to him, and the other belonging to the Lord When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.

"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me." The Lord replied, "My precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints in the sand it was then that I carried you."

This was me as a teenager, having just come back from a church mission trip. I filled my life with everything to do with God and my church, mostly to escape a rough home situation, but also to reach some level with God where I would be satisfied inside. The loneliness was incredible, even at church with those who loved me.

I remember coming early to class at the church bible school, sitting in the front row. When the teacher arrived he placed a small paperback book on my desk and said, "I wouldn't give this to anyone else, its meant for you".

It was about an ancient Christian prayer form, lost to the world from antiquity. It was beautiful in its simplicity, and had the deepest expression of longing and trust for God. You are to want God with your whole heart, on the deepest level inside you are leaning toward Him, reaching out for Him with longings that can not be uttered. It is a trust fall from a high cliff being unable to see the other side or the depths it plunges into. Slowly fall backwards into the thick darkness, not unlike the uncertainty of death.

The gate is silence. Your consciousness is quieted until it is a pond unmoving as a perfect mirror. This is the place of truth and intention. There is no one here that can influence you, and you are alone as you will be at the moment of your death. This is what its like to separated from the world, its influences, its opinions, its expectations. This is the truest form of reality.

I remember daily after school going into my room and sitting in my closet with the lights off practicing the techniques I learned in "Centering Prayer". I would slow my breathing and silence my thoughts. If a thought would come into my mind I would simply give it no attention until it would gradually dissapate. Having a notbook on hand I would write down things I had to do which were vying for my attention and interrupting my silence. If the thought of some sin I committed came to mind I would ask God's forgiveness and move on. Even my motivations for meditating fought with me, that seeking God on this level was selfish. That I should be out doing things to serve the Lord rather than wasting my time trying to get something from Him. I settled on the understanding that connecting to Him would change my life and make me a greater benefit to all around me, and I moved on.

Then the most difficult opposition would face me. If I release control of my consiousness maybe Satan or some evil spirit would use the opportunity to somehow get a hold on my life and decieve me. This is what I've heard from Pastors and other christians I've talked to. However, it seems as your mind is silenced that your intentions are not. Deep inside you know that it is God you're seeking, trusting Him with your vulnerability that He will not let you fall. I moved on.

After a month or so I would come to a place inside where my mind was still and silent. I was satisfied that this is right, and even though I have failed God in many ways with sins to confess to Him. He wanted me to keep seeking. I did not deserve to come into His presence but I was invited non the less. I was at a place where I could go no further. Like standing at a door that only opens from the other side. Like Jacob, I said to God, "I will not go until you bless me". It was like reaching out into the dark as far as a human is permitted to go.

All my life I learned about God and believed everything accepting it by faith. I had this growing feeling that I was about to encounter the God of reality. The Bible, church, the stories about Jesus, everything I had believed was at stake. Was I willing to let my beliefs be put to the test before the reality of the actual God, trusting Him that He knows the intents of my heart and will not let me fall or be decieved...

BUT now thou askest me and sayest, "How shall I think on Himself, and what is He?" and to this I cannot answer thee but thus: "I wot not." For thou hast brought me with thy question into that same darkness, and into that same cloud of unknowing, that I would thou wert in thyself. For of all other creatures and their works, yea, and of the works of God's self, may a man through grace have fullhead of knowing, and well he can think of them: but of God Himself can no man think. And therefore I would leave all that thing that I can think, and choose to my love that thing that I cannot think.

For why He may well be loved, but not thought. By love may He be gotten and holden; but by thought never. And therefore, although it be good sometime to think of the kindness and the worthiness of God in special, and although it be a light and a part of contemplation: nevertheless yet in this work it shall be cast down and covered with a cloud of forgetting. And thou shalt step above it stalwartly, but Mistily, with a devout and a pleasing stirring of love, and try for to pierce that darkness above thee. And smite upon that thick cloud of unknowing with a sharp dart of longing love; and go not thence for thing that befalleth. (The Cloud of Unknowing, chapter 6)

Day after day it felt like somthing important was about to happen, slowly draing closer. The first time it occurred it last only a split second but left me stunned for weeks. I began like the feeling that you get on the top of a roller coaster, weightlessness, gravity changes. Your feel almost like your standing close to a very powerful magnetic field, a tingling feeling, not quite the same as electricity. There's a low rumbling sound like wind blowing straight at you. A sensation comes from all around your head like absolute sweetness; happiness rendered down and condensed impossibly strong. All of a sudden the world is perfect. You have no fear and feel no pain, like seeing the world from inside of God...

There is a set of four volumes written by those who experienced the same thing. It was started in the fourth century up to the fourteenth . Some of the early writers where present in the coucel of Nicea where the 66 books of the bible were chosen. There is a pdf version available and an audio version made with a very good speech to text program.

All four volumes of the Philokalia, pdf format

All four volumes of the Philokalia on audio book

(Made available in audio book format by Cecil Lacy)