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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 …

Kevin Anderson, Ph.D. is a psychologist, life coach, writer, and speaker. He is the author of six books and numerous other publications. The spiritual perspective he brings to his work with patients is evident in his most recent book, Now is Where God Lives: A Year of Nested Meditations to Delight the Mind and Awaken the Soul (2018). Learn more about Dr. Anderson and his work at He can be reached at [email protected]

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