Living In The Interstices Gap Crevice Space All words we could have chosen, But this was Berkeley, after all. How much better to lift one’s eyes to the universe (While onlookers rolled theirs) And espouse a Spirituality of Interstices. How often I have lived in the space between this home and that home Like a trapeze artist clinging to this bar while watching the next one swing Closer and Closer. Major shifts of reality foreshadow New growth incubating in the interstices- That space in between departure and arrival, Between letting go and letting be, Space fertile yet fearful Teeming with possibility. On the final leg of my journey I again wait in the space between Living here and living there, Living and not living… A multiversal journey toward New spiritual consciousness. RHK 6/10/21
Soul lethargy is not Letting go. It is soul sloth. Like Sherlock asleep on his exercise wheel, I emerge from this pandemic afraid to get back on the wheel, curled up instead around my COVID fat feeling sorry for myself. Feeling pseudo-safe in a cocoon of my own making. A cocoon leading not to new life but to one doomed to die by soul sloth. Up! My soul opens like a morning glory starved for sunlight, waiting for grace to pull me up. Divine Spirit ever folding and unfolding, Show me the way out. In the asking, soul sloth becomes Letting-go. c. Rita H Kowats 5-30-21 * Apologies to my feline sleuth for so cavalierly exposing his soul and fat belly for all to see.
Releasing Anxiety: A Spiritual Practice
If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another. The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.
Calling forth divine energy I open myself to it’s movements within me, around me, and through me. May spirit guides protect me. Breathing in, I am safe. Breathing out, I release fear. Breathing in, I welcome possibilities Breathing out, I release judgment. Breathing in, I am safe. Breathing out, I release fear. Breathing in, I welcome possibilities Breathing out, I release judgment. May it be so.
PHOTO Credit: c. 2014 Shelly “First Day of School” licensed CC-BY sketchport.com
Inebriated With Light
This morning when my friend asked for prayers in dealing with negativity I recognized my own need immediately. I offer a practice and a prayer.
Practice To Release Negative Energy
Once settled in a comfortable position (lying on my back works well for me), ground yourself with breathing.
When focused, begin the ritual of releasing negative energy embedded in your aura, your brain, anywhere in your energy field where it tends to get stuck. Imagine using your hands to unravel and pull out the pieces of negative energy, sending each one down your spine, and into the ground where it can be reconstituted… recycled for the good, if you will. Accompany the release with the words, “Releasing this unwanted negative energy….sending it down to the earth.”
When finished, take the time you need to let welcome, positive energy to settle in. Follow the ritual with a physical cleansing with water, sage, or incense.
A Prayer For These
Photo Credit: Cathedral of light | vivid sydney 2016
When the well goes dry, listen.
Sit by it, your ear pressed to its rim.
Hear the empty and the hollow of it.
Let be. Let be.
When finally you hear your breath
echo back to you,
let this sound be your first prayer.
Where there is breath,
there is water somewhere.
In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection & Prayer
Photo Credit: http://www.zdrillerteam.com/is-your-water-well-going-dry-5-common-warning-signs/
This first week of Lent in my Mennonite faith community Mark 10:17-21 takes center stage in our human drama.
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
The rich young man who thinks he has done everything right is disappointed in Jesus’ response. I would be too except that Jesus looks at me and loves me.
Imagine this sacred bowl as the womb of the divine. Toss in all those grasping ego trips we hoard. Keep digging down until you get them all, and then you will be poor of grasping and rich of spirit.
My bowl is ready. My Lenten practice will be to root out the unhealthy ego manifestations that hold me in a death grip, write them down and toss them into my bowl. At Easter they will become my whole burnt offering.
Peace to you friends,
A Tribute To Tina
Tina strolls leisurely along the lake boardwalk with her happy little dog whose pink satin bow bounces with attitude as she leads Tina. Someone has to lead because Tina is intensely focused on the book she is reading.
When I saw Tina in the elevator yesterday I felt a burst of radiant well-being emanate from her. Light showcased clear brown eyes highlighted by tastefully applied makeup. Her long auburn hair fell loosely around shoulders pulled straight by some unseen string from above. Tears of joy waited for release as the realization emerged- Tina was well.
Focusing on a book was something Tina couldn’t do very well when she first moved into my apartment building. I would see her strolling around the grounds with her Narcotics Anonymous sponsor, sometimes twice in one day. She walked bent over, studying the ground as if expecting it to swallow her up at any minute. Her face was contorted and conversation resembled a rapid staccato frenzie of unrelated words.
Standing upright a year later, Tina has become for me an icon of what the human spirit can do. Witnessing her noble struggle has been a spiritual practice which reminds me how to reach down and pull out the strength to go on, the strength to survive and then to thrive. She is a monument to the art of letting go.
I am grateful to Tina, to my brave niece and to thousands of others, for showing me how to let go.
A Spiritual Practice For Aging
THE ABANDONED VALLEY
Can you understand
being alone so long
you would go out in the middle of the night
and put a bucket into the
well so you could feel something
tug at the other end of
Jack Gilbert in Refusing Heaven
(for a loved one who wandered too far)
Old age is like
an abandoned valley
where you have to
venture out in the middle of the night
to find a well to sink your bucket
in search of someone to send it back.
Don’t wander far.
The well is closer
than you imagine.
© Rita H Kowats
In Search Of Abundance III
The leaf photo evokes the image of a crab’s pinchers poised to strike as it sidles sideways across the sand. As we know, the astrological sign of cancer is named for the crab. Those who are born under this sign are said to struggle letting go and they often communicate indirectly. Outer appearances serve as an armor of sorts, hiding the depths of their feelings, a universally human tendency.
In the process of growing up, crabs have to molt their hard shells many times to make way for each new, larger shell. As it molts, the old shell has to soften while the beginnings of the new shell grow under it. The crab must pull its whole self from the old shell; if it gets stuck, it dies.
Lenten Meditation Three
Thinking sideways slanders truth.
Speaking sideways swindles youth.
Legacy leaving requires
Brittle, whittled half-truths
must soften and slip
to make room for new strata
soon sloughed off to shine
brilliant on sparks of pure
© Rita H Kowats. 3-22-19
Sway With the Wind
The black wrought iron bench was toasty-warm today where I sat watching lakeside trees sway against the gentle autumn wind. Against the wind. I hear Bob Seeger singing in my ear,”…we were running against the wind.” The wind today was coming from the Fraser River Valley in Canada. Normally wind comes from the south around here in the Puget Sound area and our trees know that. They are genetically disposed to sway with the southern winds. When those winds howl down from Canada in winter accompanied by cold temperatures, we can be in trouble. It happened one winter when I lived in a rural wood. I woke up to eighteen trees uprooted on the road behind me. They can’t handle seventy-mile-an-hour sustained northern winds.
I saw the lesson in the trees gently swaying today. I’ve been feeling a bit off lately, an underlying dis-ease in response to an impending hip replacement. The surgery itself doesn’t make me uneasy…I’m a pro, having already had both knees replaced! It’s all the preparations and doctors’ appointments and constant questions and questionnaires that unnerve me. The trees reminded me to be flexible, to sway with the wind rather than against it. Much easier. Much healthier spirituality and physically. Of course, sometimes justice demands that we run against the prevailing wind hanging on tightly, but not this time.
“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”
photo credit: KarinKarin2 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/123747563@N07/32265204954″>Sylt</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>