Monthly Archives: February 2016

Give us this Day

This has been an intense season of change in my life.  Last spring I started studying with a meditation teacher after a synchronistic meeting.  I had already been engaged in a meditation practice- survival meditation as I thought of it.  I did not start meditating to enhance my life, or because I thought it was something I should do as a spiritual person.  I started meditating because I felt like if I didn’t, I might just lose myself in the Universe and be unable to manage being alive.  And my practice deepened further when my healer/teacher withdrew from my life.  By last spring I was ready to get some guidance and focus to stabilize and enhance what I was already doing.  The method I studied was a hindu/yogic style practiced and taught by Paramahansa Yogananda.  As soon as I began the techniques of this path, something happened that surprised me, but maybe shouldn’t have.

Daily Bread

Daily Bread

Jesus returned to me.  I think this happened for a number of reasons.  Firstly, I had not engaged in devotional prayer for a very very long time and praying that way brought me back to practices I had engaged in many years before as a serious disciple of Jesus.  Secondly, well, Jesus and I had a thing.  We had a deep and committed relationship until I up and left him in the late 90’s.

Since Jesus came to me again, I have found myself closing a large circle in my life.  I find myself feeling comfortable thinking of myself as Christian….almost.  I have found a few Christian mystics who feel like my tribe and my people, something I searched for with very little success early in my life.  I find myself reading the Bible again with eyes opened in a very different way than they ever have been.  Jesus and I made up.

I am in the midst of transition where I cannot see what will happen next and it seems terrifying at times.  I would never ever have thought I would find myself praying something as traditional as the Lord’s Prayer, but I seem to be profoundly coming back home in an alive and authentic way that has included saying and appreciating this prayer….almost.  Some things about Christianity still chafe.  The almost exclusive referencing of God as male, the literalism that sometimes dominates reading of biblical text, and especially the institutional atrophy that has reduced some churches to rote supporters of a social status quo.  All of that feels dead.  However, there is a reason the Lord’s Prayer is said so frequently.  I incorporated it back into my personal prayer mostly for the line, “Give us this day our daily bread”  which I feel is another way of recognizing that the whole Universe is a gift running through my hands and doesn’t belong to me at all.  And yet, in this moment, I have everything I need and so much more.

It is hard for me to pray this prayer without modification.  It holds powerful truth, but for me it also holds some pain.  So, what does one do?  Retranslate.

Here is my Lord’s Prayer that I’m trying on in the morning and evening:

Source of all Love, in this eternal now,
may your Presence be honored.
Align all life with your Life and bring us all into awareness of our belonging as we realize the truth of our oneness with you.
Gift us all the resources we need each day.  Transform our brokenness with the generosity of your healing love as we extend healing love to one another.
Please do not keep us in darkness, but redeem our trials with new life.

This practice is breathing new life into me that I could never have imagined for myself.  I hope as you read along, it offers you an invitation to new life as well.

What are the resources you need this day?

Moving in Moving Out

Today I joined a group of women to walk an indoor labyrinth in silence.  I love community labyrinth walks.

Grow Soul Labyrinth

Grow Soul Labyrinth

Not only do you experience the twists of the path itself and it’s movement towards and away from the center, but you also meet fellow travelers, move with them, walk away from them and meet them again.  The moving bodies were a dance, were thresholds and doorways, were eyes filled with love and compassion, strangers or angels coming into presence with me.  The form of the labyrinth itself is truth that I am trying over and over to remember.  We are not lost.  We move in.  We move out.  We move in toward the center of the path, toward the center of our breath, toward the center of love and then back out as we lose our balance, step aside for another, get blurred in the lines and go back the way we came.

This week the darkness has been thick, has left me blinking and reminding myself to breathe.  The darkness has felt reassuring, then terrifying, then peaceful then empty.  I know that there are beautiful things hiding in the darkness.  I know that to sit there I need more than what I know or see.  The next moment is impenetrable.  The next moment may be a cliff edge or a warm bed of leaves in a safe place.  The next moment will change everything whether we notice or not.  The next moment will change everything.  It always does.

So tonight I am sitting in the dark, but not alone.  This transformation is only possible because of love;  because I am held in love, because I reach out, because I open myself when another’s hands find mine groping for something to hold on to.  This is the death I chose, holding hands in the dark with you, with the Universe.  I know that I cannot get lost.  I know that I am not alone.  I am moving in.  I am moving out.

This is the Day

My spirit play friends were busy “working” with our story last week, with many children absorbed in various activities.  One friend worked with a rubber band board, a piece of wood with nails pounded half way into it to make a grid.  She showed me and then added to her work and then called me over again.

The Day God Made Us

The Day God Made Us

“Tell me about it”, I requested.  She told me it was the day God made us.  Now that is something you don’t see every day.  I asked her to elaborate, to tell me more, but she had no grand story to match her work of art.  She asked me to look and see the vertical stress and then to look and see the stress to the sides.  “Look at the stress lines.”

I had many more questions, but she wanted to move on to play with other things.  I wonder though, what day she was talking about.  Was it the day of the big bang?  Was it the day of our conception?  Was it today when we woke up?  Is it right now as we inhale?

And what kind of stress must have been present at any of those moments, or days?  Do new life and creation always flow from stress or tension?  If so, how might we view those experiences in our life with more positive regard?  There is an idea in spirituality that we should regard all our difficulties as teachers and those hard things in life as invitations and opportunities to grow.  What does the stress of trying to create a calm space for several wiggly 3 and 4 year olds have to teach me?  What does the discomfort of my own internal judgement invite me to learn?  In that tension, what do the stress lines look like?  What new creation do they make possible?

These are things I have been sitting with this week.  And I have taken those questions into my teaching practice.  And I have taken those questions into my own meditation practice.  Sometimes we can’t know or see what kind of new life may arise as we sit and reflect.  Sometimes we can only make it through the tension of the exhale as it invites the next breath.  In this moment I am made and made anew.  That looks like evolution and growth, imperceptibly, but always changing and being transformed.  This is the day.  This is a new day.

Haven

Haven

Haven

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am one who is seeking and finding refuge,
opening a soft place in my heart
opening up
like my newborn in warm water
gently blossoming
to let in the sun
and the bees
an invitation into beautiful sanctuary.

I am one who is seeking and finding rest,
is sinking into the support of
water
to be nurtured and birthed.

I am one who brings the belonging
of my heart
with me everywhere
and invites others to rest
in love.

I am one who moves from
I
to
We
to
Us
to Home in this moment
into greater expanding Life and Love.
Come rest in this haven.