“Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace is transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.”
We are not perfect, so why spend energy focusing on our limitations when we could use that energy to come home to our souls? We are like monkeys aimlessly swinging from tree to tree screeching, “Where am I, where am I?” All we have to do is sit still in one tree and we have already taken the first step into our inner sanctuary.
I know this to be true. Someone told me I was this monkey at age twenty-seven. The words singed my ego as they found their mark. Eventually, I accepted the truth and began the practice of sitting still. It’s been a long journey.
photo credit: Yavuz Alper via photopin cc
“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
As we move through the rituals of Holy Week this meditation from Eckhart Tolle in Stillness Speaks is a rich companion.
“When you walk into a forest that has not been tamed and interfered with by humans, you will not only see abundant life all around you, but you will also encounter fallen trees and decaying trunks, rotting leaves and decomposing matter at every step. Wherever you look, you will find death as well as life.
Upon closer scrutiny, however, you will discover that the decomposing tree trunk and rotting leaves not only give birth to new life, but are full of life themselves. Microorganisms are at work. Molecules are rearranging themselves. So death isn’t to be found anywhere. There is only the metamorphosis of life forms. What can you learn from this…?
If you can learn to accept and even welcome the endings in your life, you may find that the feeling of emptiness that initially felt uncomfortable turns into a sense of spaciousness that is deeply peaceful.
By learning to die daily in this way, you open yourself to Life….
Whenever death occurs, whenever a life form dissolves, God, the formless and unmanifested, shines through the opening left by the dissolving form. That is why the most sacred thing in life is death. That is why the peace of God can come to you through the contemplation and acceptance of death.”
Photo: Meadowlake Beach County Park, Lynnwood WA USA