Our Half-Lived Lives: O’Donohue Meets Meister Eckhart


…An authentic life is a life that is aware of and willing to engage its own oppositions…. Sometimes, people who are very vociferous and moralistic are people who have erased the tug of opposition from their lives….It is lonely sometimes to hear them talk because,in their certainty, you can hear the hollow echo of a life only half-lived….One of the greatest duties of postmodern culture…is to try to bring the personal and the communal, the individual and the universal, together.

John O’Donohue in a talk delivered for “The Open Mind” 

published in Walking in Wonder by John Quinn and John O’Donohue



The eye with which god sees me
is the same eye with which I see god.
God’s eye and my eye are one.
One seeing, one knowing, one loving.

Meister Eckhart


There is a space
of potential presence
in god’s eye where we
can reside in peace
with the other, even if
we cannot be with them
in any other place,
in any other way.
If we can believe that
we are one in God’s eye,
we break the wall of dualism
that separates us, even
if just for a moment.
Moments live into
more moments.
Rest in the sacred gaze
of the divine.

Spiritual Luminescence

Luminescence is spontaneous emission of light by a substance not resulting from heat; or “cold light”. It is thus a form of cold-body radiation. It can be caused by chemical reactions, electrical energy, subatomic motions or stress on a crystal.

Wikipedia

May the divine reactions in our souls emite glorious light to all those we encounter today.

Here We Are. Send Us.

John Quinn closes his book of essays, Walking in Wonder with this poem. Poet and mystic John O’Donohue died in 2008 and this stanza was penned by Quinn after the celebration of his life.

Envoi

Sometimes
A voice is sent
To calm our deepest fears

Sometimes
A hearty laugh
Will banish all our tears

Sometimes
Words will wing
Our dreaming ever higher

And sometimes
A mind will set
Our imagining afire

John Quinn

In Walking in Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for a Modern World by John O’Donohue and John Quinn

Here we are.

Send us.

Welcome Autumn

46243352305_3f1ba89404

 

Last evening, the eve of Autumn, I was comfortably ensconced in my chair listening to the Pacific Northwest seasonal onslaught of rain gently ping against the windows.  Sonorous snores from Sherlock, my tubby tabby, provided bass accompaniment and the savory aroma of beef stew on the stove wafted in, peaking my anticipation.  As the Germans would say, this was the essence of Gemutlichkeit.

Yet, with autumn comes the denuding of trees and spirit, so this arrival of the season is bitter sweet.  This blessing from John O’Donohue has eased me into it.  Perhaps it will do the same for you.

Vespers
As light departs to let the earth be one with night,
Silence deepens in the mind, and thoughts grow slow;
The basket of twilight brims over with colors
Gathered from within the sacred meadows of the day
And offered like blessings to the gathering Tenebrae.
After the day’s frenzy, may the heart grow still,
Gracious in thought for all the day brought,
Surprises that dawn could never have dreamed:
The blue silence that came to still the mind,
The quiver of mystery at the edge of a glimpse,
The golden echoes of worlds behind voices.
Tense faces unable to hide what gripped the heart,
The abrupt cut of a glance or a word that hurt,
The flame of longing that distance darkened,
Bouquets of memory gathered on the heart’s altar,
The thorns of absence in the rose of dream.
And the whole while the unknown underworld
Of the mind, turning slowly, in its secret orbit.
May the blessing of sleep bring refreshment and release
And the Angel of the moon call the rivers of dream
To soften the hardened earth of the outside life,
Disentangle from the trapped nets the hurts and sorrow,
And awaken the young soul for the new tomorrow.
~ John O’Donohue ~
(To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings)

photo credit: spoilt.exile <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/96301483@N05/46243352305″>Склон / Slope</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Finding Truth

 

photostudio_1534442087729

 

 

For Light

Light cannot see inside things.
That is what the dark is for:
Minding the interior,
Nurturing the draw of growth
Through places where death
In its own way turns into life.
In the glare of neon times,
Let our eyes not be worn
By surfaces that shine
With hunger made attractive.
That our thoughts may be true light,
Finding their way into words
Which have the weight of shadow
To hold the layers of truth.
That we never place our trust
In minds claimed by empty light,
Where one-sided certainties
Are driven by false desire.
When we look into the heart,
May our eyes have the kindness
And reverence of candlelight.
That the searching of our minds
Be equal to the oblique
Crevices and corners where
The mystery continues to dwell,
Glimmering in fugitive light.
When we are confined inside
The dark house of suffering
That moonlight might find a window.
When we become false and lost
That the severe noon-light
Would cast our shadow clear.
When we love, that dawn-light
Would lighten our feet
Upon the waters.
As we grow old, that twilight
Would illuminate treasure
In the fields of memory.
And when we come to search for God,
Let us first be robed in night,
Put on the mind of morning
To feel the rush of light
Spread slowly inside
The color and stillness
Of a found world.
– John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us:
A Book of Blessings

“The Sacred Symmetry of Your Soul”

 

36204074031_d33845c257_b

 

FOR PRESENCE

Awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to follow its path.

Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

 

from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings by John O’Donohue

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

photo credit: PMillera4 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/48227962@N04/36204074031″>Ireland</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Blessing for 2017

linda's sunrise

 

I am indebted to John O’Donohue once again for this lovely poem.  It seems I will forever learn at the soul of this great contemporary mystic. Josie is John’s mother who died after him in 2011.

 

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

“A New Year Blessing”
Benedictus (To Bless The Space Between Us)

 

 

Photo Credit:  Pastor Linda Roddis

Waiting for a Green Blade

waiting-for-the-green-blade

 

It is 25 degrees F. in Seattle this morning.  The sheets of rain have given way to brilliant sunshine. I let loose a hopeful sigh that soon our spirits may shake off despair and emerge whole and enlightened.

 Messenger of Sight

I would send a raven to your window with a green blade
to show you the flood that blinded
is gone down and my eyes can see
the torn sinews of the impoverished
earth gasp in this white, winter light.

John O’Donohue in Echoes of Memory

Dawn for O'Donohue poem framed

 

Feast on this offering from John O’Donohue.  Happy New Year!

 

A Blessing For The New Year
Beannacht
For Josie

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

“A New Year Blessing”
Benedictus (To Bless The Space Between Us)

You may enjoy Krista Tippett’s interview with John O’Donohue months before he died January 2008:

 http://www.onbeing.org/program/john-o-donohue-the-inner-landscape-beauty/203

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/42741557@N05/16871458598″>Dawn</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;