This gift of wisdom came to me this morning and reminded me of a poem I wrote earlier. I invite you to meander between the words, between the lines.
A clear radiant unselfishness at the core of your being is a vital source of power and influence. It spreads as surely as ripples on a pond when a stone is tossed into the center. A sincere reliance on your own integrity generates supreme good fortune. I Ching 61 Centering in Truth
“SoulCards” by Deborah Koff-Chapin. The technique Deborah has created is called “touch drawing.” The cards come in two decks of 60 images and can be used alone or with others as reflection tools. They have enriched my meditation for years and have helped those I companion with. www.soulcards.com
Used with permission from the artist
I offer this poem as solidarity with friends and followers who experience great loss and suffering at this time. Recently a line from BBC’s “Call the Midwife” stunned me. The nurse said to a grieving wife, “We just keep on living until we are alive again.” This.
See-Through-Church on a Hill Outside of Brussels, Belgium
Today we hear in the news of the demise of an evangelical megachurch founder and pastor, Mark Driscoll. Mars Hill Church is located in Bellevue, a suburb of Seattle WA, northwest coast of the USA. The “ungodly and disqualifying behavior” he is accused of is using church money to promote his book which denigrates women. It appears that his ministry is about promoting himself rather than true gospel values. American Evangelicals are not noted for publicly raising consciousness about the beliefs and behavior of their own church, but members of this church have come out strong, questioning Driscoll’s practices, especially his beliefs and treatment of women as second-class citizens. I find this very encouraging and it gives me a reason to respect them.
I came across this photo of a see-through-church after having read about Driscoll, and it hit me powerfully that what we really do need is see-through places of worship. A “What you see is what you get” policy would go a long way toward trust that furthers the ministry of every congregation. True community does not allow a loose cannon to dominate its life. I applaud the members of this church who stood up.
Many moments of synchronicity lately have focused my attention on the phenomenon of the aurora borealis. One short film from the PBS film festival left me gasping from the beauty of it all. The film is entitled, “I Am the Aurora Hunter.” http://video.pbs.org/video/2365129081/. I have embedded another video below of the Northern Lights in Alaska. To grow spiritually, we must be brave enough to expose ourselves to a powerful wind which can shake loose the static energy of our souls and free us to make a holy collision with the auras of our souls. The Book of Genesis pulls us into the vortex of the creation story with a description of “a mighty wind sweeping over the waters” (Gen. 1:2). The Hebrew word for wind in this passage is ruah, which refers to Spirit and wind interchangeably. This mighty wind has hovered over our universe since before time, waiting for opportunities to collide with us. Just as geomagnetic storms can expand the zone of the aurora borealis to lower altitudes, the Wind of the Spirit can snatch us up when conditions are optimal. The aurora borealis is most vivid at the equinoxes and we are most conductive of spiritual energy when our lives are in balance. This autumn equinox (Sept. 23) hold a promise of vivid cascading aurora for me if I stay faithful to my practice of watching which way the wind is blowing. Photo Credit: hoto credit: Håkon Iversen Photog – On and off Flickr via photopin cc
T.S. Eliot gave us one of the world’s most poignant lines of mystic thought, “For most of us, there is only the unattended Moment, the moment in and out of time… music heard so deeply /That it is not heard at all, but you are the music/ While the music lasts.” Likewise, we ARE the Power while the Power lasts. The minute we HAVE power we have entered a place of no-power, a vapid simulation of life.
A Spiritual Practice for Becoming the Power
Breathing in, I become God’s Intellectual Power.
Breathing out, I release ignorance.
Breathing in, I become God’s Loving Power.
Breathing out, I release domination.
Breathing in, I become God’s Energizing Power.
Breathing out, I release complacency.
Let Us Pray:
Intelligent Power, grant me
a mind that is clean and clear.
Show me my way.
Loving Power, embrace me in my need.
Energizing Power, set me on fire
with your truth.
“Community…calls us to the kind of relationships that walk us through minefields of personal selfishness, that confront us with moments of personal responsibility, that raise us to the level of personal heroics, and lead us to the rigor of personal compassion day after day after day. It is when we see in the needs of others what we are meant to give away that we become truly empty of ourselves. It is in the challenges of the times that we come to speak the Spirit. It is when we find ourselves dealing with the downright intransigence of the other that we understand our own sin. It is when we recognize in the world around us the call of God to us that our response to the human race becomes the measuring stick of the quality of our souls.”
Joan Chittister Illuminated Life: Monastic Wisdom for Seekers of Light pp. 32-33
This post is inspired by Sue Llewellyn’s Word A Week Challenge on A Word in Your Ear at http://suellewellyn2011.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/a-word-a-week-photograph-challenge-waiting/. We are asked to respond to the word, WAITING. Once in a while lately I feel like Alice following the white rabbit down the hole, so my poem emerged from these ideas of waiting and being a good steward of TIME.
“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Time trips over its hands,
Running, running, late, late,
For a very important date,
Its slaves shackled to tick tock,
Tumbling, tumbling, into the
Hole they’ve loosened with the
Pick axe of avoidance, and
Shoveled out with the spade of fear.
For shackles to fall,
And slaves to see the
Light of Day.
Waiting to become
Stretching minutes into long, leisurely
Hours- hours easing into