Wedding Patience With Longing

The reflections of Jan Richardson always delight and enrich me. This piece I meditated on today seems particularly apt nourishment for us now.

Richardson reflects on Hildegard von Bingen’s work, Scivias, in which the mystic personifies virtues. “Longing stands next to Patience,” says Hildegard, and Richardson reflects, “Yes, and I am wedged in between them. How do Patience and Longing live together in you?”

A question for us to ponder as well.

“Longing stands next to Patience”

Longing would sometimes like to be assigned a different spot.
Would like to be less near this one who approaches everything with such equanimity. Would like some distance from the measured way that Patience marks time,
holds herself with such politeness toward its passing.
Patience knows this about Longing. Accepts it, even loves it about her.
This makes Longing crazy.
Patience has not told her she has some envy of Longing’s perfect ache
or that she thinks it must be an art to hold oneself
so perpetually poised toward the horizon.
For her part, Longing has not confessed that there are days
she finds Patience restful. Soothing. A relief.
Meanwhile, by little and by little,
so slowly its appearance will startle them both,
a horizon is drawing near.

Blessing

May Longing and Patience teach you by turns:
not just the fire but the tending of it,
not just the well but the digging;
not just the vision but the enduring it asks,
by day and by darkness drawing us on.

In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection and Prayer by Jan L. Richardson

Photo Credit: https://everydaypower.com/patience-quotes/

Managing Our Dis-Ease

So many of you either have already, or are now experiencing the fallout of Covid-19. I am a seventy-five year old with a compromised immune system, recovering from flu and sitting in the epicenter of the outbreak north of Seattle WA,USA. I think of you all much more lately, believe me! Your courage and faithfulness to spiritual practice sustains me and lifts me up.

I have developed the practices below as a way to remain at peace and to balance the lack of control with the power of spiritual action. My list of people and places to protect grows with each day. These are the people and places I hold in light:

Thank you for whispering a quick blanket protection for us.

My sister and her husband
My nieces and nephews
My sister-in-law and everyone at her memory care center, including the families
My spiritual director and soul sister
My church campus, staff, our neighbors there without a roof over them
Members of my geographical house church
Life Care Center in Kirkland where nine have died and others are infected
The hospital where my friend works and my friend and herself
The 50+ Apartment building where I reside
Myself
My friends

Protection Ritual For This Time Of Epidemic

Ground yourself using whatever ways help you. Begin when you are ready:

Spirit of divine, cauterizing light,

Surround this place (name) and/or person (name) with your brilliant, healing light. Above, below, behind, in front, around and around.

(Imagine the swirling light banking and building heat and sending it throughout this person and/or place. Imagine that this spirit light is brooding in the center of this place/person)

Spirit Light, brood within them. Generate healing light and warmth. May they be free of all dis-ease. May they be free from harm. May they be happy and peaceful. May they be strong and healthy. May they take care of themselves with joy.

May it be so. Amen.

Protection Ritual For Yourself If You Are Sick

Susanne has recommended the Insight Timer free meditation app on Google play. My favorite music is “Delta Waves and Oceanic Sounds.” I like it because I can sync my breathing with the ebb and flow of the waves and because it is unobtrusive.

Inhaling, I breathe in healing energy. Exhaling I send it to every place in my body that needs healing (to my mind as well, in an effort to dispel fear and anxiety). Inhaling I gather up all sick energy from my body. Exhaling I send it down to the earth where it can be renewed.

photo Credit: https://www.transparentpng.com/details/hose-grey-hurricane-transparent-images-_3092.html

Kissed By A Frog

“Joy comes into the world through gentle means, but springs from a solid inner base. ….that which brings joy into the world is a source of considerable power.” 

I Ching 58 Joy

 

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I wave hello with one hand
While holding my face with the other- mirror images-
Isn’t that what it’s all about-
Or is it one image, one pondering?

I want to climb into your lap
And cling to the last vestigages
Of ponderable possibility-
Fonder, I am, more of possibility
Than hostility.

“Oh, it’s escape you seek,” says the frog.
“No. I seek wonder,
That moment of ecstasy,
Remedy for hostility
When sheer joy is possible.
I cling to that.”

c. Rita H Kowats 2-26-20

 

Protection Practice

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Thank you for your patience, friends.  Regardless of my absence on this page, you have been present to me in spirit.  This morning I sat with the I Ching and asked spirit what to share with you, and I received for present #29 Dangerous Depths and for future, #43 Determination. It is great wisdom about taking risks and handling the danger inherent in some situations, especially where evil and negativity underlie human affairs. The following practice is very helpful to me; I hope you find it so.

A Protection Practice for Dealing With Negative Energy

Breathe your body and soul into a relaxed, safe space.  The meditations and music on the google play app Insight Timer https://insighttimer.com/ are helpful.

Call upon your personal angels if you know them, and on traditional ones: Raphael, Michael, Gabriel and Ariel.  If angels hold no meaning for you, invoke other protectors that do.

Ask them to surround you with divine light, creating a buffer zone of loving protection.  Ask them to let nothing pass through this zone, either from you or into you, that is not intended for the greatest good.  Imagine the divine light wrapping around you, warming you from inside out around you, before you, behind you, under you.

Rest in that protective embrace for awhile.  Make a conscious decision to try to dissipate negative attitudes in yourself before they pass through to others.  Sending loving kindness to yourself helps with this most human of struggles.

Throughout your day return to the safety of that light.

Be well, companions.

Photo Credit: pexels.com

A Spiritual Camino de Santiago

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I am reminded of these earlier musings as I feast on the book, Walking in Wonder, a gathering of Johm O’Donohue’s poetry and philosophising by his friend John Quinn.  It is O’Donohue’s discussion of Meister Eckhart that brought me to this place again.

I first coined the phrase “genes of our souls” in this poem I wrote in 1989 after experiencing the deaths of my parents.  It brought me some comfort.

November

At 75 I am coming closer to understanding and accepting the import of the phrase.  O’Donohue relates Meister Eckhart’s conviction that there is “a lonely edge to our lives” that can only be filled by God, and that if we want to come into God’s presence, we must let go of all images to make that journey.  And it is the journey, the process that matters. For me the journey entails a stripping down to the very genes of my soul where Presence lives unfettered by the images I have created.  In those moments of nothingness I experience fullness.

This has become my Advent meditation. My journey is less toward a babe in a manger and more toward an expansive divine presence gestating within my spirit.  As I move along the path I throw out all the clutter that blocks my way. It comforts me to be companioned by you on this sacred camino de santiago.

An Advent Practice

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Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.”

Isaiah 40:4

 

Greetings to you all in this spare time of dark days and great expectation.  This morning I lightened my day with a meditation on simple abundance brought to us by Ardine Martinelli at https://listeningtomylife.blog/2019/12/08/simple-abundance/

I thought you might also be nourished by Ardine’s reflection.  She relates a spiritual practice offered by Sarah Ban Breathnach, in her book Simple Abundance: A Day Book of Comfort and Joy.  The practice involves meditation on the place of gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, beauty, and joy in our lives.

Enjoy!  I hold you all in my heart today, sending peace.

Rita

 

 

Photo Credit: https://binged.it/2PuZHNz. @ pexels.com

 

Spiritual Backwalking

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I have recently been gifted with a profound metaphor that I will share with you, but first

TWO STORIES.  A treasured member of my faith community lives with early on-set Parkinson’s Disease.  When his brain stops moving him forwad, he walks backward.  Healthline.com says, “It’s a simple way for you to challenge different muscles and force your mind to focus and operate differently.”  Rather than stopping, my friend lets go and imagines another way to move.  Backwards becomes frontwards.

In the 1960’s war novel, Catch-22, Yosarian walks backwards, “…because he was continually spinning around as he walked to make certain no one was sneaking up on him from behind.”  Yosarian was experiencing the reality of war, not paranoia.  The enemy was sneaking up behind him with intent to kill.  His fixation on fear had taken possession of him, so he walked backwards to be safe. And now

THE METAPHOR.  What if we trained our souls to stop the unhealthy ego-spin by walking backwards?  This spiritual practice necessitates a profound letting-go, just as it does when our bodies attempt to walk backwards.  We are awkward and afraid of falling, so we rely on a friend’s arm or trekking poles, and our progress is slow.  Spiritual backwalking requires us to rely on the movements of the Spirit instead of relying solely on an out-of-control ego.  We find the courage to walk inside the dangerous fissures of constant change and uncertaintly.  We take on a holy vulnerability when we risk this spiritual backwalking.

Our society doesn’t endorse walking backwards.  It’s motto is forward-thrust with great gusto, a speed which supports all manner of unhealthy ego-patterns, the worst of them being an inordinate drive to control self and others at all cost.  This is the war zone we find ourselves in at this moment and like Yosarian, we have to walk backwards to be safe.  We have to let go and trust Spirit to companion us through the change and uncertainty that bombards us.  And now

A POEM

Backwalking (1)

One of our blogging community members offered this beautiful story about PD folks “unfreezing ” by dancing.  Enjoy:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000c4pp

Photo Credit:  Pinterest.com

Where Have You Gone?

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It has been two days since I visited my sister-in-law in the memory care unit.  An intense collage of feelings have mixed with tears as I struggle to make sense of the unsensible.

GONE   WHERE ARE YOU   MOMENTS OF TERROR   HUMOR   GRIEF  UNLESS YOU BECOME LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN YOU CANNOT ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN  WITHOUT THE ABILITY TO THINK…IS THERE A SOUL    it’s all there.

Phyllis was diagnosed with Alzheimers two years ago and now after another fall and a broken hip and a move, the disease has progressed dramatically in a short time. I am grateful that my brother hasn’t lived to witness this.

At last this morning I was gifted with a measure of sense and hope:

Gone

 

Photo Credit:  pexels.com