My brother-in-law Donald suggested I read Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton. It is very deep. Some parts are too deep for me. It's about developing an approach towards 'centering prayer', going deep inside yourself to connect with God on a deeper level. Allowing God to reveal Himself to you. Instead of the constant plea and/or praise that entails a jumble of words from us to God, it's more about quieting the spirit to be open to receiving The Spirit.
It's also about developing a monastic spiritual life without having to join a monastery. It's about being alone with the Holy Spirit even when you are with a crowd. You don't have to be physically separated from others in order to achieve this. But I think it is something that will be a challenge for me to achieve. I am so easily distracted.
And since I live in this 'worldly' world and not a monastery, and since the life I live is far from cloistered, I don't hold out a lot of hope for myself achieving this goal.
I have to admit, I was a little depressed reading this book, knowing that I'll never realize that 'Oneness With God' that monks, and those that lead a life of prayer experience, because I'm just not all that spiritual. So I went searching for articles on prayer that might help me. I found something that I really connected with:
"There is no difference between scrubbing the floor and praying. There is no difference between balancing your checkbook and praising God. It's all the same energy from the same Source, and the only difference is how we use that energy. Every moment is the same in God's Eyes, for every moment, every exertion of energy can be used to praise Him, and we waste those moments when we don't have Him front and center in EVERYTHING we do."
I know that it is a vocational calling to live the life of the religious. But I think the secular life, while not fully immersed in the spiritual twenty-four/seven, can be a life that is Spirit-filled.