~ The Little Flowers ~ An Interfaith Contemplative Community
"Practice appreciating the little flowers in your life. Practice appreciating My smallest love, planting the seeds for the great love which is to come.”
We are an interfaith contemplative community of all faiths; Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Shamans and Sufis, coming together in our common humanity and living a life for the soul. We are living a monastic experience without walls, each being true to our own spiritual life. Meditation, living our intentions (as guides from the heart) and service are the core principles.
The Community is a spiritual support system, so that we do not feel alone on the Path. Each person is a delicate Little Flower doing their best to develop a deep relationship to God inside and outside. We can receive this support from wherever we live in the world. Our flower family lives (or is from) Africa, America, Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Germany, India, Indonesia, Puerto Rico and Switzerland. We communicate via email, website or heart. The awareness of worldwide community helps us to expand our hearts and feel protected.
We came into bloom at Christmas 2003 and are enjoying sharing the garden of God’s grace together. Assisi, Italy and a path of inner simplicity have inspired most of us. Some of us live in Assisi or visit when possible, while making our practice in our own home country. We come together again and again in our heart practices of understanding, compassion, forgiveness and love. We share the recognition that we are naked, divinely human. This is the core of all spiritual traditions. As we accept our nakedness, life’s vulnerability, we open to the gift of the moment and the divine celebration, which is always occurring.
Meditation practice We are encouraged to make a sacred space in our homes for daily practice and may chose any practice that feeds us deeply. Our daily meditation practice nurtures our ground of being and brings us in contact with the pure silence, which feeds us. Outwardly our practice may be very different but inwardly we are flowing in the same river towards the same Eternity, Oneness or God. We are committed to leading a life, which nourishes our soul and feeds our spirituality, relationships and activities.
We are encouraged to attend a flower or group retreat once a year. As we immerse ourselves in devotion, meditation and silence we create energy and newness for the soul, along with greater awareness. If we are not able to attend a group retreat it is important to create time, in a silent sanctuary, to withdraw for several days each year. This provides longer practice times for feeling oneness with God. This can also be in our own home. More and more time spent in silence, being nourished by the silence, is our source to inner peace and joy.
Intentions, guides from the Heart Intentions give direction and support in our daily life. These are qualities from our hearts that we are bringing into the world more and more. They renew our hearts and are a source of joy.They become a light to help us with the many choices we make each day.
Each of us chooses our own personal intentions that are true and applicable to our lives now, with the help of the spiritual directors. The first personal intentions are practiced for 6 months at which time we decide if they are still true or need to be modified to support our life’s current circumstances and challenges. Each of us takes 3 intentions. The first is Truth, which means we follow our own truth first and foremost. The next 2 are chosen as qualities from our own hearts that we want to bring more into the world. Some examples of these maybe; joy, loving kindness, beauty, simplicity, gentleness, honesty, compassion, courage, humility, surrender, openness, love, gratitude etc.
Intentions guide us in relationships and activities, and give us a place where our awareness can rest. They are like a rudder and sail on our small sailing ship taking us into eternity. Intentions in combination with our meditation practice keep our boats light, our lives free and peaceful. Our meditation practice is also our anchor that keeps us real and grounded. The intentions help us live in the moment and be present with others and ourselves. Intentions are alive and may change with time. If you need help to formulate new intentions please feel free to contact Ruth or Bruce.
Community Our interfaith community is the harbor that shelters us, knowing we are not alone, and allows each of us to sail freely, independently, discovering God’s love. When the winds and waves of life take us, we know we can always come back to the harbor of our meditation, prayer and community. We can set anchor, deep inside ourselves and rest in love’s presence and life’s little Flowers.
Each of us is honored as we are. Some of us choose to be more social and others less so. There is no social obligation. Each is accepted and not one is better than the other. Some people develop deep long term interactive friendships and others feel a deep connection spiritually with minimal social interaction. We learn not to judge each other’s path, as each persons needs are different.
Whether we meet and grow together or grow in our own direction, the Flower Blessingthat is given is a gift and is uniquely ours forever. It is a loving reminder of the purpose of life, to come closer to God, each in our own way. We are always blessed to know that inside of us we are a beautiful soul blooming perfectly and extremely blessed to have others with us on this path into eternity.
Service We choose service, as it is one of life’s greatest treasures, to find what we have inside ourselves to give to others. Some of us help elderly. Others help homeless people, their local communities or pray for particular causes.
We can view our work as our service, when we are aware of the presence of our own inner light and truth. When we work with awareness that each of us is a soul, connected to God, we serve. We bring our light into the world so that as we work, help or talk with this as our awareness, we bring a gentleness that nurtures each other. Just using our eyes to smile at someone creates a bridge from our heart to the outer world. Each of us is a vehicle for love and love’s presence.
Am I a Little Flower ? If you feel called to make a deeper inner commitment to your soul you may want a Little Flower Blessing. This is an opportunity to support the inner life of our soul. It is not about outwardly joining a group of people, but rather joining a deeper part of yourself, knowing there is a community of people supporting you. We all want to feel close to our real self, our hearts, God inside of us. This is the life that is worth living. This is our source of lasting happiness and creativity. We want to have this as our daily reality more and more. This comes with practice and patience. We all have the ability naturally to live this way. As Little Flowers we are actively choosing to live this awareness as best we can. We are waking up to our natural beauty, living a life day by day that is simple and true. Ruth and Bruce Davis help each person to choose their initial intentions they wish to follow. After which we set a time for your personal Flower Blessing. Being a Little Flower requires personal responsibility and motivation to make the path meaningful and true. What each of us discovers in life’s garden and brings to the community is a harvest for everyone. What is important is that each person practice their true relationship with God and the details of life always follow. The garden grows when we give our souls space and love to become ourselves. The community offers new friendship and support for a heart full life. Special retreats are offered just for the Little Flowers. The community is a creative process for everyone as we unfold our truth and embrace life.
Spiritual Directors In 2003 Ruth Davis was inspired to create the Little Flower Community. After years of retreats she recognized that many of the retreat participants wanted to take a deeper step as a commitment to a life for their souls. In honor of this inner commitment, Ruth created a blessing ceremony and named the community The Little Flowers. Both Ruth and Bruce act as the spiritual directors for the community, supporting each Flower as life’s spiritual challenges arise.
Non Profit Organization We are a non-profit organization that supports people of all religions, countries and backgrounds to live a deeply satisfying spiritual life. The path of great love and peace is to pursue a life full of heart that includes; devotion, simplicity, humility and service to others.