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As we gear up to celebrate our nation's freedom, even as historically unprecedented forces threaten  to undermine our enjoyment of them, many of us struggle to recognize the divine presence we believe underlies it all.

But until we find a way to ground ourselves in the Truth of God's infinite presence and power, our actions -- no matter how well-intended, will surely add to the chaos rather than quell it; let alone transform it. Question is how do we experience Presence?

The simple-but-not-easy answer is, "Go within!" As long as our faith depends on what we're experiencing in the world of form, the worldly conditions win. Grounding in Truth requires that we go apart from the incessant drumbeat of doom and despair, and experience God's presence. That's the source of divine strength, wisdom and guidance that builds resilience for being in the world but not of it.

Jesus says it this way: " ...go into your room, close the door and pray."   

Which begs the question, where is your room? Where and how do you experience presence? On a meditation cushion? Great. Kneeling with hands folded? Super. But please know that experiencing presence is deeply personal. Where and how you connect to the divine can differ from day-to-day, even moment-to-moment.

Here's a suggestion for this holiday weekend: Seek it in the delight of a nation celebrating its founding and aspirations with picnics, fireworks and hot dogs. Dwell in a moment of gratitude for living in a country where barbecues, sparklers and band concerts mark the anniversary of our founding rather than regiments, missiles and tanks in our streets. As we gather in backyards, parks and beaches, look for the Divine in the painted faces of children, and in the eyes of friends, loved ones and fellow Americans. 

Then, in the sanctuary of your heart, let Presence make your spirit soar.